As the only Mets position player to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award, advice from Darryl Strawberry goes a long way for Pete Alonso.
The franchise's former right fielder from 1983-90, Strawberry's 17-year career started in New York, where he earned seven of his eight All-Star appearances and helped led the Mets to the 1986 World Series championship.
So with the NL Rookie of the Year Award set to be announced Monday on MLB Network -- Alonso, Atlanta Braves right-handed pitcher Mike Soroka and San Diego Padres shortshop Fernando Tatis are the three finalists -- Strawberry offered advice for the Mets first baseman Sunday through the New York Post's Kevin Kernan.
"Pete just has to continue to develop into the player that he wants to be, not the player everybody else wants him to be," Strawberry told Kernan. "When you have the kind of rookie season that he did, the expectations are going to be so much higher.
"Can you stand up in the middle of it all in New York and take the hype?"
Time will tell for Alonso, who turns 25 on Dec. 7, but he certainly aced his intial test.
From Day 1, Alonso became a leader in the clubhouse and backed up his play throughout the 2019 season.
Over 161 games, he slashed .260/.358/.583 with 53 home runs -- surpassing Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge's previous single-season rookie record of 52 -- and 120 runs batted in.
"Everybody is going to want him to hit 50 home runs every year, even 60 home runs," Strawberry said, "but that is not a real reality."
Baseball Reference projects Alonso to slash .261/.353/.566 with 39 home runs and 90 RBI in 2020.
Strawberry came onto the scene during his age-21 rookie campaign in 1983, slashing .257/.336/.512 with 26 home runs and 74 RBI over 122 games.
The breakout season was the first of eight strong years with the Mets, where he slashed .263/.359/.520 with 252 home runs, 733 RBI and 191 stolen bases in 1,109 games.
"The year after I won was tough, you expect big things, you've got to perform, and sometimes that is not the case," Strawberry said. "Sometimes you have to go through tough times to really appreciate how good you really are and how tough the game is."