TAMPA (WFLA) – Former Plant High School and University of Florida baseball star Pete Alonso won the National League Rookie of the Year Award Monday night.
Alonso finished with 29 first-place votes out of a possible 30, outshining fellow finalists Fernando Tatis Jr. of the Padres and Braves pitcher Mike Soroka.
The New York Mets slugger took the “Big Apple” and baseball by storm in 2019 by bashing 53 home runs, the major league record for home runs by a rookie.
Surrounded by family and friends at his parents’ home in Tampa, Alonso learned of his award on live television, participating in the ceremony via satellite on MLB Network.
During his interview on the broadcast, Alonso was asked about his work ethic and the questions that surrounded him coming out of spring training when the Mets gave him a chance to compete at the big league level.
“I expect a lot out of myself and I want to prepare the best that I can to compete at the highest level,” Alonso said. “I hate losing and I love to win. So, whatever I can do to impact the game, I want to be able to put myself in that position through dedication and hard work.”
The last bay area baseball star to win a Rookie of the Year Award was the late Jose Fernandez, who starred for the Miami Marlins following his incredible journey from Cuba to Alonso High School in Tampa.
Tampa Bays Rays infielder Brandon Lowe finished in 3rd place in the American League.