Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout will be the fifth pick in many fantasy baseball drafts this spring while New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso might be on the board until the fifth round. But when assessing these two players based only on the question of who will hit more home runs this season, the gap is much more narrow. Let’s discuss that question below.
MLB HR Battle: Mike Trout vs. Pete Alonso (-112)
Very few players hit the ball with more authority than Trout. In 2020, he ranked in the top 3 percentile in exit velocity and hard-hit rate. A significant increase to his launch angle over the past couple of seasons has inevitably resulted in more fly balls and homers. Trout crushed a career-high 45 HRs in 2019 and put together a 50-homer pace in the shortened 2020.
Alonso’s 2020 season was viewed as a slight disappointment compared to what he achieved as a rookie the year prior. He didn’t make as much hard contact, his average plunged by nearly 30 points, and he hit 16 homers in 57 games. That’s a 45-homer pace over a full season. Exceptional, yes, but that would have represented an eight-homer drop from 2019 when Alonso set the MLB all-time rookie record with 53 HRs.
However, Alonso should be the favorite here. Maybe Trout can top his 2019 personal benchmark, but 45 home runs feels much more attainable for Alonso after what he’s done through the first two years of his career. Plus, Trout hasn’t played in more than 140 games since 2016. Granted, his 45 homers came in just 134 games in 2019, but who knows how much time he will miss this season? At this point, Trout, who turns 30 this year, must be expected to sit out some stretch of games. That concern doesn’t exist in Alonso’s profile right now.
Trout is clearly the better player and fantasy pick. He hits for a substantially higher average, will undoubtedly steal more bases, plays a premium position and provides plenty of power. He is a Hall of Famer today and one of the greatest players ever. But if the only barometer is home runs, Alonso gets the edge.
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