PORT ST. LUCIE — Pete Alonso’s best trait is his need to study.
He is presented with bodily instruments, however there is also a thirst for data. Asked if he may speak to any hitter in historical past, the Mets first baseman, who blasted 53 house runs his rookie season, didn’t hesitate.
“Ted Williams could be nice,’’ Alonso instructed The Post. “For a man to go battle in a battle after which come again and completely rake is type of mind-boggling to me. To come again from battle and simply be a dude, that’s ridiculous.’’
Williams gained six batting titles, produced the all-time highest on-base share at .482, the second-highest slugging share at .634 (solely Babe Ruth was higher), and was the final man to hit .400. He additionally missed most of 5 seasons due to army service.
This spring is way totally different than final spring when Alonso had to persuade the Mets he ought to begin the season within the majors. Alonso crushed it within the spring, simply as he did all season to win NL Rookie of the Year honors.
“I need to go about every part the suitable means,’’ Alonso stated of discovering his swing. “It can come tomorrow. It can come two weeks from now. If I hit a pair balls arduous and proper at somebody, a minimum of I do know I’ve my timing. Timing can come and go, particularly early within the yr.’’
Here is the principle goal, and it says every part about Alonso’s 2020 mindset:
“Last yr, I had in intellect taking part in a giant league season, preparing at the beginning of spring coaching and being in nice form. This offseason I nonetheless had that very same mindset.’’
There is one distinction.
“Look, I need to play till November. That’s the mindset,’’ Alonso stated of the Mets’ World Series quest. “I need to construct my physique up to the place I do know I can deal with 180-plus video games. It’s all focus stuff. Quality over amount.’’
Robinson Cano is a key useful resource for Alonso.
“Robby is the person,’’ Alonso stated. “He is a superb trainer, that’s why a number of the guys name him The Professor. He’s probably the greatest to ever do it so having a man like that as a neighbor within the locker room is superior.’’
Cano stated he’s ensuring Alonso doesn’t put an excessive amount of stress on himself.
“The yr that Alonso had is superb,’’ Cano stated. “There are at all times going to be ups and downs; Mike Trout is just like the one man who places up nice numbers yr after yr.
“Anybody who hits 30 house runs within the massive leagues, that’s fairly superior. Pete is an efficient child, humble. He can’t put an excessive amount of stress on himself this yr. If he hits 50, nice, however when you hit 25 and assist us win video games, that’s what issues. For me, I don’t care about his numbers so long as he helps us win video games.’’
In his first spring coaching recreation Saturday towards the Marlins, Alonso hit two balls arduous that went for outs, and double-checked with the analytics division afterward. He is working on discovering the groove that allowed him to change into the primary rookie in baseball’s fashionable period to end a season because the majors’ outright chief in homers.
“The first one was hit at 97 [mph] at 29 levels, the second was at 101 at 28 levels,’’ Alonso stated of that day’s hitting analysis. “Both had possibilities to be further bases. That was good suggestions so I do know I had day. To have information to reassure the method that’s wonderful.’’
Here is his at-the-plate philosophy:
“You have to go numb up there as a result of if you’re considering an excessive amount of within the field, the ball goes to be within the catcher’s mitt earlier than you end your thought,’’ Alonso stated.
Alonso spent the winter at house in Tampa. Asked if he bumped into Yankees star Aaron Judge, he stated: “No, however it will be cool to sit down and have dinner with him. I really feel like me and him, we acquired fairly related philosophies, but in addition he’s a special participant. He’s acquired some totally different concepts. It could be cool to shoot the breeze with him finally down the highway.’’
That could be their very own superb Ted Talk about hitting.