The Home Run Derby did not have a cash prize back then. That incentive started in 2019, and with each victory, Alonso nearly doubled his salary in one night of epic slugging. In baseball’s pay structure, which is based largely on service time, Alonso made the $555,000 minimum as a rookie in 2019, and his salary now is just $676,775.
Two years ago, he had 30 home runs at the break, on his way to 53, a rookie record. Alonso has 17 now and was seeded fifth in the Derby. He said his Mets teammates considered that disrespectful, and asked if it made him mad.
“I’m like, ‘No, I’m going to win anyways, it doesn’t matter,’” Alonso said. “This is such a fun time for me, it’s just all positive thoughts, fun thoughts. I’ve put myself in a really good position.”
Alonso asked for New York music to play while he hit, so he bopped his head and shimmied to Nas, Mobb Deep and the Notorious B.I.G. He used a bat with custom designs by Gregory Siff, an artist from Queens now based in Los Angeles.