In what’s looking like a lost season for the New York Mets, two very bright spots were floating in Double-A and raking minor league pitching what seemed like every night. With the promotions of first baseman Dominic Smith and utility man Ty Kelly to the Mets, a void was left on the Las Vegas 51s.
On Thursday, two of the best hitters in the league, first baseman Peter Alonso and infielder Jeff McNeil, were called upon to fill the open spots in Triple-A. These call-ups come as obvious, yet pleasant news as both now-former Rumble Ponies have torched minor league pitching and will look to get a major league shot in late 2018 — especially if the Mets aren’t in the race.
Reports surfaced that Mets would not be calling up Alonso later in the season, which is quite frustrating considering he is older and seems more developed than Smith. But, as covered before, it seems as if Sandy Alderson feels like he may owe Smith a shot after the egregious handling of the once highly-touted prospect.
Alonso has done his part to rise the ranks of an ailing New York system and his newly reworked swing has generated plus power and an ability to stay inside the ball: in 65 games and 220 at-bats, he’s put up .314/.440/.573 season and 15 home runs. It will be interesting to see how the Mets manage Alonso if he continues his dominant play.
As for McNeil, he will more than likely get at-bats in late July/early August, if not sooner. Like Alonso, the 26-year old infielder has ripped apart Eastern League pitching, compiling a .327/.402/.629 triple-slash and launching 14 home runs in 214 at-bats. He has beefed up through the years and has been able to translate his weight to power.
Look for these two newly assigned 51s to make noise in a not-so-crowded system. Who knows? Maybe we’ll see both Alonso and McNeil dawning the orange and blue in 2018.
Photo credit: Gregory Fisher – USA Today Sports