The New York Mets, with their roster now mostly settled, descend on Port St. Lucie to kick off the start of Spring Training. After a long, tepid offseason, baseball has finally returned.
There are many storylines that are going to be worth following as Spring Training continues. One of the more interesting yet not often mentioned storylines is how the young catchers invited to Spring Training perform. While none of them will be on the Mets this season barring something miraculous, their performance over the next five weeks could determine their future with the organization.
The Mets invited four catchers to Spring Training, most of them at different stages of their professional careers. The first catcher, Francisco Alvarez, is the most notable young prospect that received an invite to Spring Training. He is widely regarded as one of the Mets top prospects and a future star. He was signed as an international free agent in 2018 with the expectation that he will one day be the Mets future starting catcher.
The Mets are hoping that Francisco Alvarez, one of their top prospects, offers a glimpse of what is to come in Port St. Lucie this Spring Training.
So far, Alvarez has justified this expectation. During the 2019 season in the Gulf Coast League, Alvarez compiled a batting line of .312/.407/.510 with 7 home runs and 26 RBI along with a 155 wRC+. However, his statistics do not tell the whole story. Apart from his solid offense, Alvarez has displayed a great feel for the game behind the plate defensively, with an above-average arm and the ability to frame pitches well.
Alvarez enters Spring Training camp with the expectation that he will not see the major league field for a while. When the Mets signed James McCann to a four-year deal, the expectation was created that once McCann’s contract expires, Alvarez would be ready to take over as the Mets starting catcher. As a result, Alvarez is not expected to make the major leagues until at least 2023 or 2024.
However, Spring Training provides Alvarez a perfect opportunity to showcase his skills and give the Mets faithful optimism that the future behind the plate looks very bright.