NEW YORK -- In the end, Peter Alonso did make it to Citi Field this season -- just not in the way he wanted.
Alonso was on hand Wednesday to accept his Sterling Minor League Player of the Year Award, for a season that saw him hit .285 with 36 homers and 119 RBIs at Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas. Although Alonso expressed disappointment last month that the Mets did not make him a September callup, he's come to terms with an organizational decision that has both service-time and 40-man roster implications.
"Being here at Citi Field, just getting ground balls, taking BP, taking pop flies, being here, it's awesome," Alonso said. "Regardless of being in the big leagues or not, it's special. Citi Field is a cathedral. It's an incredible place to play, and I can't wait until I'm playing there with people in the stands."
Scheduled to depart New York on Thursday, Alonso, the Mets' second-ranked prospect and No. 61 in baseball according to MLB Pipeline, will briefly return home to Florida before heading to the Arizona Fall League. There, he will continue to work on his first-base defense as he prepares to try to make the team next spring.
"I just have to trust that -- it sounds cliche, but it's all in God's hands," Alonso said. "I just need to keep working and getting better. … I'm lucky to be playing, and I know it's going to happen. It's just that I need to continue to get better, and just keep proving I can do it every single day."
Other Mets Minor Leaguers to receive rewards included:
Justin Dunn, Organizational Pitcher of the Year
The team's first-round Draft pick in 2016, Dunn rebounded from a disappointing first full professional season to post a 3.59 ERA over two levels this year, ending his summer at Binghamton.
"The biggest thing for me was I got back to who I was with being an athlete," Dunn said. "Last year, I kind of put so much pressure on myself to be a complete pitcher that I got away from who I was. So I went back to work and started to understand my body again, and how I was supposed to move as a pitcher and being able to feel the positions I needed to be in. So my delivery is much more repeatable and cleaner."
Dunn's season also ended with a unique thrill: the Long Island native pitched to David Wright on Tuesday in a simulated game at Citi Field.
"That was a pretty surreal moment for me, being a New York kid," Dunn said. "Growing up, there were two people I wanted to meet: Derek Jeter and David Wright. So to get out there and face him on the field that basically is his, it was a pretty cool moment. And for him to tell me I had some pretty good stuff afterward, made it even better."
Andres Gimenez, Class A Advanced St. Lucie Player of the Year
Just 19 years old when the Mets promoted him to Binghamton, Gimenez saw little falloff from his production at St. Lucie. Overall, the shortstop batted .281 with 29 doubles, five triples, six home runs, 38 stolen bases and a .756 OPS.
"I feel like I can do more," Gimenez said, "but I'll take this year as a positive and keep going."
David Peterson, Class A Columbia Player of the Year
The Mets' first-round Draft pick in 2017, Peterson split his summer between Columbia and St. Lucie, and posted a combined 3.16 ERA. Next year will be a critical test for Peterson, who should make it to Binghamton by the end of the season, at which point the big leagues will be within reach.
"You want to move as fast as possible," Peterson said. "Everyone's dream is to play here. But the only thing you can do is go out there and play as hard as you can."