During his time with Florida baseball, Pete Alonso was a menace at the plate and belted 14 home runs during the 2016 campaign to go along with a .469 on-base percentage and a 1.128 OPS.
But Alonso had plenty of help during that 2016 season, as the Gators had a stacked roster of fellow future MLB players like Alex Faedo, Jonathan India, A.J. Puk, and Brady Singer.
After being drafted to the New York Mets in 2016, Alonso has gone on to become one of the stars in Major League Baseball, but the 2023 edition of the Mets has been a massive disappointment so far.
Last night, however, the Polar Bear delivered in a moment that might be the catalyst needed to break the struggling Mets out of their slump.
Florida Baseball: Leave it to the Polar Bear
After starting 14-7 on the season, the Mets have slumped and entered last night’s contest against the Tampa Bay Rays 20-23. When factoring in the Mets won over 100 games last season, the faithful in Queens were growing restless.
Alonso is at the forefront, symbolizing the Mets’ hot start, followed by its slump. Even though he leads MLB in home runs this season and is top 40 in OPS, Alonso has just a .196 batting average over his last 15 games.
This brings us to last night when the Mets went into extra innings against the first-place Rays. Tampa Bay scored two in the top of the 10th, and it looked like another soul-crushing loss was on the horizon.
Alonso stepped up with one out and a runner on first and third. A poorly placed ground ball, of which he’s done six times already this season, the 21st most in baseball, would lead to two outs and end the game.
Instead, the Polar Bear put the Mets on his back.
If the Mets don’t follow up and capitalize off the walk-off home run, this moment will ultimately be forgotten about.
But if New York becomes catalyzed by the former Florida baseball star and goes on a run, remember this moment from Alonso as the home run that started it all.