After successfully defending his Home Run Derby crown, New York Mets star Pete Alonso is of the opinion that nobody can mash dingers like him.
"I feel like I’m the best power hitter on the planet," he told reporters after beating Baltimore Orioles star Trey Mancini in the final.
The 2019 National League Rookie of the Year opened with 35 homers in the opening round and finished with 74 across the entire competition.
The frequency with which he cleared the fences was something to behold. Almost every time he made contact, the ball exploded off the bat.
Alonso does seem uniquely suited for the Home Run Derby. He has crushed the ball at every level, hitting 14 homers in his final year at Florida and getting 36 across Double-A and Triple-A in 2018. Upon reaching MLB, the 26-year-old set the rookie record for home runs with 53.
Opposing pitchers seem to have found Alonso out a bit. His slugging percentage has fallen from .583 in his first season to .478 through 77 games in 2021.
Life becomes much easier in the Derby. The Polar Bear simply needs to stand in the batter's box and swing as hard as he can.
This is probably also a good time to highlight the work of Mets bench coach Dave Jauss, who delivered pitch after pitch right into Alonso's wheelhouse:
Here's to hoping Alonso—and Jauss—will be back for the 2022 Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium.