New York Mets prospects

Mets of the Future: Watch out for catcher Francisco Alvarez

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 26: The New York Mets logo is seen on the sleeve of Matt Harvey #33 as he addresses the media the day before Game 1 of the 2015 World Series between the Royals and Mets at Kauffman Stadium on October 26, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 26: The New York Mets logo is seen on the sleeve of Matt Harvey #33 as he addresses the media the day before Game 1 of the 2015 World Series between the Royals and Mets at Kauffman Stadium on October 26, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images) /
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New York Mets prospect Francisco Alvarez began his professional baseball career this summer. Thus far, he looks like a prized possession on the farm.

Just 14 games into his professional baseball career, New York Mets catching prospect Francisco Alvarez has done nothing but hit. Signed as an amateur free agent in July of 2018, Alvarez is off to a fantastic start. He has already been promoted once and is now in the Appalachian League with the Kingsport Mets where he has continued to hit.

Combined at both Single-A levels he has played at, Alvarez is slashing .388/.508/.673 with three home runs. In those 61 plate appearances, the thick-framed 17-year-old backstop has been an impressive force at and behind the plate.

For the Mets, it’s promising to see a catcher on the farm perform this well. The organization hasn’t had a premier-level catcher developed in their own minor league system since Todd Hundley in the 1990s. Even his best years didn’t last all that long.

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Also on the Kingsport roster, 2019 first-round pick Brett Baty has gotten his professional career off the ground. Unfortunately, the lefty-swinging third baseman is just 3 for 21 in his first 6 games. He has hit a home run but has struck out 11 times already. The same way I’m not getting ready to anoint Alvarez as the next Mike Piazza, I’m also not prepared to dismiss one bad week from Baty.

As the number 12 prospect in the Mets’ system according to MLB.com, Alvarez strikes me as one of those quick high-risers. The next time the list is updated, it’s easy to see him enter the top 10.

Other Mets minor league catchers this year have performed well. Notably, Patrick Mazeika has hit 10 home runs in Double-A while paired with 18 doubles and a .252 batting average.

Fellow Rumble Ponies catcher Ali Sanchez has leaned on hitting for average, slashing .291/.345/.361 in his first 230 at-bats. The other catcher in the team’s top 30 list, Nick Meyer of the St. Lucie Mets, has not had the same production as these three with a batting average a few points below .200 after 54 games.

In the coming years, we could see one or both of these catchers become the number one guy behind the plate for the big league Metropolitans. Until then, it’s the Wilson Ramos and Tomas Nido show in Flushing.

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Watch out for Alvarez to continue his ascent through the minor league ranks. Projected by MLB.com to make it in 2023, he may soon become one of the organization’s most exciting prospects.

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