By Ethan Salm
As the 2019 MLB season winds down, it is time to look at the best performers of the season at every position. In this series of columns, I will run through all of the best players at positions 1-9, along with the DH and relief pitchers. Without further ado, I give you my All-MLB team, or The Best Nine.
3/First Base: Pete Alonso, New York Mets
The National League Rookie of the Year to be. The Polar Bear. The 2019 Home Run Leader. The Rookie Home Run Record Holder. Call him whatever you want, Pete Alonso is the best first baseman in the league. He had 155 hits this year; 53 of them left the yard. We thought that Aaron Judge’s rookie home run record would stand for at least five years. Pete thought otherwise. He had 120 RBIs and batted .260 with a WAR of 5. Yes, the Mets didn’t make the playoffs this year; the Mets didn’t even finish second in their division. Without Pete, this team wouldn’t have even been in the playoff race late in the season. The Mets hit the over on their season win total in part because of how good this kid was. He is already the best first baseman in baseball and the best player on the Mets. The fact that he could get even better is scary.
Honorable Mention: Max Muncy, Los Angeles Dodgers
Max Muncy is a guy that had a sneaky good 2019 season. After breaking out in 2018, Muncy wasn’t really talked about in the national media as much this season. To make a long story short, he should’ve been talked about more. While his average dropped from 2018 to 2019, almost every other batting category (plate appearances, hits, doubles, walks, RBIs and runs scored) has increased. He was an All-Star for the first time this year after participating in the home run derby in 2018. While he didn’t hit as many home runs as Alonso did (Pete hit 53, Max hit 35), you certainly don’t want to give Muncy a pitch over the middle of the plate. Muncy was a big part of a Dodger team which finished with the best record in the National League. His WAR was 5.7, which is actually higher than Alonso’s, but I had to lean towards Pete when picking the best first baseman because Max didn’t match up to the batting average and RBI numbers that Pete had.
Edited by Emma Moloney | firstname.lastname@example.org