Mets' Pete Alonso dedicates spring training grand slam to his mom

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Colin Martin
·2 min read
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Pete Alonso spring training post game zoom
Pete Alonso spring training post game zoom

Mets first baseman Pete Alonso was all smiles while speaking to media via Zoom during the team's spring training game against the Washington Nationals on Thursday afternoon.

Alonso hit his first home run of the spring with a grand slam to right-center field in the bottom of the fifth inning, giving the Mets a 5-4 lead.

"Oh, it felt excellent," Alonso said. "I mean, I was just trying to stick to my plan, get a good pitch to hit over the plate, and I got one. I've been making some pretty loud outs so far. Been putting a lot of good barrel on the ball. But it felt good to see that one go over the wall, it felt nice."

The 2019 NL Rookie of the Year was asked about his batting approach and had a special message for his mother.

"That means I feel like my swing is getting there," Alonso said. "I'm really happy with being able to drive the ball to the big part of the field, whether it be center field or dead right field. For me, I pride myself on being able to take the ball to the big part of the yard. And if I hit it hard, it's gonna go a long way.

"And also, big shoutout, happy birthday, Mom! Glad I could get a birthday bomb for you. Thank you guys for coming. It's really nice to have my parents here at the games."

Alonso was then asked about his swing looking more like 2019 than last season in 2020, as he used a compact swing to hit his grand slam on Thursday.

"For me, I think that in both years I had a lot of really good swings," Alonso said. "In '19, obviously I was more consistent with it, but I feel like in '20 that I mastered the strike zone a lot better, I chased less in '20. I just feel like I didn't necessarily get going and hit my stride consistently. And if I can blend being consistent, making those short simple compact swings, and minimizing chase. I feel like I'm gonna be set up extremely well going into the season. I just want to keep making good, hard contact and swinging at drivable pitches."

Alonso batted .231 with 16 home runs and 35 RBI over 57 games during the shortened 2020 season. It was a drop-off from his historic rookie season in 2019, in which he hit a record 53 home runs and had 120 RBI in 161 games.

The slugger will look to keep improving at the plate as the team has high expectations for the 2021 season and needs him to perform the way he did in 2019.