Mets star Pete Alonso wins the 2019 National League Rookie of the Year Award
As was predicted and expected, first baseman Pete Alonso took home the honors for the 2019 National League Rookie of the Year award, which was announced Monday night. The Polar Bear, who led the league with 53 home runs in his rookie campaign, fell one vote short of a unanimous showing, which is astounding but not surprising for this member of the New York Mets.
Having become the fifth member of the Mets to ever win this award, Alonso is the first member of the Mets since 2014 to take home this hardware (which was starting pitcher Zach Wheeler) and is the first position player since Darryl Strawberry in 1983 for the Mets to need to find room on his shelf for a piece of history.
Alonso’s competition came in the form of Atlanta Braves’ starting pitcher Mike Soroka and San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., who saw his season season cut short due to an injury. Soroka ended up snagging that lone first-place tally that made Alonso’s victory not unanimous, and it could not have happened to a more deserving individual.
Having shown different shades of emotion on the field for everyone to see on multiple occasions, Alonso is the epitome of what it means to give it your all and leave everything on the diamond, something that the MLB has been losing touch with lately. Players like Alonso, Soroka, and Tatis Jr. are the next generation of this sport, and if they want to rekindle that type of interest that used to be deeply rooted in this children’s sport, then they just need to let the kids play.
Alonso took home the $1 million prize after defeating Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the Home Run Derby during July’s All-Star Break, which was no shock to anyone seeing as how he was mashing taters left and right coming into the break. Alonso’s total not only led every single batter in the NL, but it also represents the new benchmark for all NL rookies to reach, as this amount now is the single-season record for all rookies in the history of the MLB.
Soroka and Tatis Jr. truly did not have a chance at taking home this award, although Soroka was deserving of a first-place vote if it could not be a unanimous win for the Mets star.
For the Braves, Soroka ended up winning 13 games, pitching 174.2 innings and 29 starts, and producing a 2.68 ERA – congratulations, you have your staff ace for the next five-plus seasons. Atlanta has set itself up to be big-time competitors for the foreseeable future, and by having Soroka in arbitration eligibility, it only further opens them up to be able to make one large acquisition to push this team over the edge.
Tatis Jr. had all of the hype surrounding him when the season began, but injuries and offensive inconsistencies pushed him behind the learning curve. His defense is nothing short of amazing, and he has the flair to make the game that much entertaining, so his role in this league is a very important one for many years to come, especially with his namesake having paved an equally-awesome and important path before him.