Mets superstar slugger achieves major milestone vs. Cardinals & raves about J.D. Martinez’s potential impact in the lineup

Los Angeles Dodgers (New York Mets) designated hitter J.D. Martinez (28) hits a home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fourth inning during Game 2 of the NLDS at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles
Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Pete Alonso achieved a special milestone for the New York Mets on Saturday and had glowing words about teammate J.D. Martinez’s insertion into the lineup.

Alonso became the fourth-fastest player to reach 200 career home runs with his homer in the Mets’ 7-4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday. He did so in 710 games, trailing only Ryan Howard (658 games), Aaron Judge (671 games), and Ralph Kiner (706 games) for the all-time lead.

The achievement was special in and of itself, but could be an indicator of even greater things to come for the Florida Gators product and the Mets as a whole with Martinez now in the fold after recovering from lower back tightness.

Mets: Pete Alonso’s productivity is primed for an uptick with J.D. Martinez behind him in the batting order

MLB: Game Two-Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets
Sep 30, 2023; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets designated hitter Pete Alonso (20) reacts after flying out during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Alonso, who currently hits fourth in the Mets’ batting order, has eight home runs on the young season. He’s on pace for about 49 homers on the year, which would be his second-highest total for his career.

Moreso, Alonso is sporting a .252 batting average and .325 on-base percentage. With Martinez activated behind him at fifth in the order, Alonso will have more opportunities to touch home plate due to the former 2018 World Series champion’s efficient bat.

Alonso thinks highly of Martinez as an effective hitter

He’s well aware of that, as he laid out for reporters after Martinez’s debut, per Dan Martin of the New York Post:

“The dude just rakes. J.D. just flat-out rakes. He’s shown that his entire career and that’s a skill that’s incredibly difficult to polish over the years and he’s done it. He’s one of the best,” Alonso remarked.

How Martinez can help drive in runs at fifth in the Mets’ batting order

Martinez is one of the better sluggers in baseball. He’s shown the ability to simultaneously hit for both power and average throughout his career. That was no different in 2023, as he went for 33 home runs with a .271 batting average in only 113 games played.

Now on the Mets, the three-time Silver Slugger award winner is already back to business. He has three hits in eight at-bats with a .375/.375/.500 slash line and a .875 OPS in his first two games.

Alonso is expected to continue connecting on pitches throughout the season. With Martinez’s reliable swing behind him, New York can advance more runners on base, especially with star shortstop Francisco Lindor batting third, who joined the 30-30 club in 2023 with 31 home runs and stolen bases apiece.

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