Mets’ Alonso reaches two rookie milestones

Field Level Media

July 07, 2019 at 11:06 pm.

Pete Alonso had to fight to make the New York Mets’ Opening Day roster.

Now the 24-year-old is an All-Star and the landslide favorite to win the National League Rookie of the Year award. He’s also on his way to setting numerous rookie hitting records.

The New York Mets slugger became the third rookie to hit 30 homers before the All-Star break when he took Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola deep in the sixth inning of Sunday’s 8-3 loss.

That also allowed him to set the National League record of 68 RBIs for a rookie before the break, previously set by Albert Pujols (66) of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2001.

Alonso joined Mark McGwire (33 in 1987) of the Oakland Athletics and Aaron Judge (30, 2017) of the New York Yankees in the rookie homer club.

“When I got up here, I was just really thankful,” Alonso told reporters. “There’s a lot of people that kind of rolled the dice to see what would happen, and I’m really thankful for that. I just want to make the most out of every single opportunity. I just want to keep getting better.”

Alonso also matched Dave Kingman’s club record — set in 1976 — for most homers before the break. Barring injury or a major slump, he appears to have a solid chance of obliterating the franchise season mark of 41 shared by Todd Hundley (1996) and Carlos Beltran (2006).

Overall, Alonso is batting .280 with 53 extra-base hits.

“He’s a slugger,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway told reporters of Alonso. “Not only is he a slugger, but he can hit.”