Re: Alonso .850 OPS or a mirage?
I think he's for real, in the sense that he's already pretty good at the plate and he doesn't appear to have any glaring weaknesses that are going to prevent him from continuing to improve. He's healthy, after that power-sapping wrist injury in the minors. Everything about his plate approach is solid -- he doesn't go up there hacking, he seems to have good pitch recognition, good contact skills by the standards of power hitters, hits a lot of line drives, will go to the opposite field.
So where does that put him? I don't know. .850 is a pretty high bar (would have been eighth in MLB for first basemen last season) and "not as productive as Votto" seems to be a given, but I don't really worry about him hitting. I worry about where he'll play or, if he doesn't play here, what he'll fetch in a trade.
Not all who wander are lost