A few baseball players and personalities seem to believe that participating in a Home Run Derby can alter a batter’s swing for a certain period of time. The event is geared to generate power, so hitters will generally try to hit hard fly balls. However, that is a myth, and there isn’t enough evidence over the years that can actually be thought of as a general rule. And for New York Mets’ slugger Pete Alonso, the competition seems to have had the opposite effect: he has been a beast since the break.
The Mets have been able to keep occupying first place in the NL East division for eleven consecutive weeks, and it has been, in great part, thanks to Alonso’s recent contributions. He hit a two-run homer to tie Sunday’s game as the team narrowly edged the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4.
The blast was Alonso’s fifth in nine games since the Home Run Derby, a competition he won for the second consecutive time, took place.
“When Pete comes up in that situation, I’m beginning to expect a home run there,” his Mets’ teammate Jeff McNeil said to MLB.com.
The Mets’ slugger is bringing the power
After the All-Star break, Alonso is on fire, with hits in all nine games, the five homers, and 10 RBI. Eight of those have come in Mets’ wins.
“I don’t know if the Derby played a role in it,” manager Luis Rojas said, “but he’s definitely very confident right now.”
Recently, Alonso said he thinks he is not only the Mets’ top power guy, but he is also the best in MLB. He is doing everything he can to back those words.
“Pete is that guy, right?” Rojas said. “We have some guys that can hit some homers, but this is the guy that has the record for most homers hit by a rookie, and this is his second full season at the Major League level. So this is a guy that we expect to hit homers and lead the team in homers, probably. So when he hits one, you feel that’s your guy out there that can wipe up the bases.”