Francis Alvarez, ranked as the top prospect in baseball by MLB Pipelinegoing to drink one cup of high pressure coffee.
The New York Mets are reportedly calling out the 20-year-old catcher ahead of a three-game mandatory series against the Atlanta Braves and the playoffs. Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The Mets are currently 98-58 ahead of the Braves by one game and are number one in the NL East with just six games left to play.
According to Sherman, the Mets mainly plan to have Alvarez hit bats as the designated hitter, especially against left-handed pitchers (Alvarez hits with his right hand).
It’s not often you see a team call up a prospect at the end of the season, but the Mets were apparently desperate as their performance from the DH point simply fell short. Their .629 OPS from position ranks 27th in MLB, and that number cuts to .569 compared to left-handers.
The Mets attempted to remedy that shortcoming at the trade deadline by acquiring Darin Roof from the San Francisco Giants, but Roof has been a disaster since coming to Flushing Meadows, hitting .152/.216/.197 with no homers in 74 plate appearances.
So the Mets had to resort to their “break the glass in case of emergency” option. Luckily, this is a pretty good option.
Who is Francisco Alvarez, Mets catcher of the future?
Alvarez entered this season as a top 20 prospect and his stock has only risen since then.
Signed for $2.9 million in 2018 as an international free agent, Alvarez hit 277/.368/.553 in 67 games for Double-A Binghamton before being promoted to Triple-A Syracuse. He’s hit .234/.382/.443 since, being one of the youngest players in the league and playing in the sport’s toughest position.
Other publications such as Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus do not list Alvarez as a top player in the game, but he is widely considered to be in the top 10. Scouts love his offensive potential, and MLB Pipeline rates his punching tool higher. -Average is 55 and his strength is elite 70.
Ideally, Alvarez should have gotten more major league plate appearances before he was thrown into the fire (Max Fried, Braves All-Star, should start Friday), but he still seems like the best right-handed bat available. for the Mets.