Typical for a big slugger, if Peter Alonso is going down, he’s going down swinging.
The Mets’ No. 2 prospect and most major league-ready power hitter will not get the call up to Queens this season, the Mets announced Tuesday, citing a lack of available playing time at first base, where the Mets will be trotting out Jay Bruce, Dominic Smith and Wilmer Flores. His agents immediately ripped the decision, and Alonso supported his backers taking the Mets to task.
Adam Karon and Tripper Johnson, the agents for the 23-year-old top prospect from the University of Florida, called out the Mets for not rewarding Alonso — and the team’s fans — after a minor league season in which he’s hit 33 home runs.
“It is disheartening for Peter after producing an historically great season and exceeding every request from the Mets player development staff,” Karon and Johnson said in a statement to the New York Times. “I’m sure it is equally disheartening for Mets fans who would enjoy watching and getting to know one of the more talented and entertaining players they’ve developed in years.”
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After WFAN host Chris Carlin called his agents’ statement “REMARKABLY DUMB,” Alonso asked, “Why is that dumb? They’re sticking up for me. That’s what they are there for.”
Alonso is not on the 40-man roster and not eligible for the Rule 5 draft this offseason, so the Mets can preserve a roster spot by keeping him in the minors. In addition, by not calling him up the Mets can delay when Alonso becomes a free agent.
The Mets have said, too, that they would like Alonso to work on his defense more before being summoned. Of course, Triple-A Las Vegas’ season ends Monday, so Alonso will be neither sitting on the Mets’ bench nor getting minor-league playing time.
“He has had an unbelievable season, he has done everything we have asked, he had a great year in Double-A, moving up to Triple-A, he’s having a real good year, but the way we see it, the lack of playing time is a big factor,” assistant GM John Ricco said Tuesday about a season in which Alonso has slashed .277/.394/.561. “We are going to have Dom Smith, Jay Bruce and we’ll have Wilmer all playing some first base and to have Pete come up and just sit when we looked at it didn’t make a lot of sense.”
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