Will New York Mets prospect Francisco Alvarez live up to the hype? Viewed as the next great catcher, it’s hard to have a conversation with an optimistic Mets fan and not hear his name brought up.
Alvarez is rising quickly. Now a top ten prospect in all of baseball, his trajectory toward the major leagues should have him reaching the show at a relatively young age. He’s finishing up 2021 in High-A with the Brooklyn Cyclones. We should expect the Mets to allow him time to grow further in Double-A next year with the goal of having Alvarez ready to graduate from Triple-A by the end of 2023.
Why is it that Mets fans are so excited? Without getting too into his hitting prowess or ranking on any list, I can still answer this question. You only need to look at the history of the franchise.
It has been a long time since the Mets had a catcher like this
The catcher position has traditionally been an important one for the Mets organization. The franchise has typically been a pitcher-first club so having a steady catcher behind the plate has been important.
Even when defense has lacked, the Mets have at least attempted to employ a backstop that can hit. See Mike Piazza for the perfect example of this.
The position hasn’t been so steady in recent years. Dating back to when Paul Lo Duca left the club following the 2007 season, we have a mix of veterans and young players manning the position. The results have been mixed. However, one consistency from each man has been the disappointing end.
Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki were the two young catchers in the last decade-plus believed to have a shot at holding down the fort behind the dish. d’Arnaud had his moments but never seemed to be anything more than the heavier half of a platoon. Plawecki was more of a typical backup catcher without the defensive skills to warrant the job.
Others have been mixed in there as well. The Wilson Ramos signing looked like it had potential. Unfortunately, his pitchers didn’t like throwing to him and his cold streaks seemed to go on forever. Still, Ramos’ performance was much better than many other catchers who have suited up for the Mets over the years.
The current club has put their faith in James McCann on a four-year contract. Year one hasn’t gone as planned with McCann succeeding on defense but underperforming at the plate. He’s not the same hitter he was with the Chicago White Sox.
Mets prospect Francisco Alvarez gets a big boost from being homegrown
To answer the original question: Mets fans are hyped about Alvarez because of how precious the catcher position is. The revolving door behind the plate has a chance to end in the near future.
Better yet, it will be a homegrown player that can do it.
Fans of any sport and city love their homegrown players. They’re not scraps from other organizations. They were ours from the start. We watched them go and thrive.
Alvarez’s rise shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s rare that a catcher can hit the way he does at such a young age. Showcasing power and a possible high average while not piling up strikeouts is huge. If he can also be even halfway decent as a defender, the Mets may have an all-time franchise great.
Yes, there may be a bit of hyperbole by anointing Alvarez with this much praise. He’s still a few years away, but why not get excited? All of the experts like him and his numbers show a whole lot of promise ahead.
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Mets fans love their catchers. Alvarez is well on his way to becoming the next one to fawn over.