Luis Rojas spoke to reporters in Port St. Lucie Fla. on Saturday on the heels of Pete Alonso's arrival at Spring Training, and as expected the new Mets manager was all smiles when he talked about the team's slugger.
But just as Alonso mentioned that his personal goal in 2020 was not to hit even more home runs, but rather win a Gold Glove, Rojas said the 25-year-old isn't focused on offensive numbers as he enters his second big-league season.
"You can't set goals as far numbers and try to do better than he did last year," Rojas said of Alonso. "I don't think he's going to give himself a number to hit. I know that he's got himself ready."
It's only natural that Alonso might feel the pressure to try to live up to last year's historic rookie season. But Rojas is confident he has the coaches in place to keep him focused on simply getting better each day.
"I think everyone on the staff is part of this," Rojas said. "We have a lot of good staff and the relationship with a guy like Pete is that you can have a relationship and have conversations with him about different things. Having a hitting coach like Chili Davis who went through a lot of different situations in his career. He can anticipate what's to come. Going into a second year, after the first year that Pete had, I think it's helped him. He's talked to him already about it."
Mets players and coaches have touted Alonso's work ethic as one of his best attributes, something which Rojas has seen since the first baseman was drafted in 2016.
"This is a kid that works really hard on a daily basis," Rojas said. "Not only from his offensive approach. He's going to work on getting better at that, but he's going to get better on defense and his baserunning. I don't think he's going to put in his mind that he's got to beat what he did last year. He's just going to go out there and give it his best every day."