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2016 MLB Draft: Mets take Florida masher Peter Alonso in second round

Florida's best hitter is off the board.

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Florida has a clear best hitter in 2016, and that man is Peter Alonso. After his mashing is done, he'll begin his pro career with the New York Mets, who selected him with the 64th pick in the second round of the 2016 MLB Draft.

Alonso was a fine hitter for the Gators as a freshman and a sophomore, with his five home runs and 32 RBI in 2015 coming in just 29 games, and around a broken nose that cost Alonso half a season and left him in a protective mask for much of the year.

As a junior, he's evolved into Florida's most dangerous hitter, a slugger (12 homers, 55 RBI in just 53 games) who can also hit for average (his .368 average is best on the team) and get on base (his .464 on-base percentage is also best on the team) whenever he'd like. Alonso missed almost three weeks of play in May after suffering a fractured hand at the plate — baseballs are apparently magnetic to Alonso — but came back with a vengeance and a bat that hit like a tree trunk, one that allowed him to smack three homers and drive in eight runs over the course of the Gainesville Regional, adding pop to a Florida lineup that had scuffled at times without him.

If Alonso can be what he has been as a junior in the Mets organization, the Amazins are getting one of the better offensive threats in this draft, and a decent enough athlete to station at first even if a slumping bat might not always justify it.

Alonso is Florida's fifth pick of the 2016 MLB Draft, joining A.J. Puk, Dane Dunning, Logan Shore, and Buddy Reed, but is likely to be the last Gator to go on Thursday.