3 hot Mets spring training performances we should buy as the real deal

Not every spring training performance should be taken with just a 'grain of salt'.
Mar 10, 2024; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA;  New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (4) picks up a
Mar 10, 2024; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (4) picks up a / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Mets are finally entering the final stretch of spring training. With Opening Day just a week from Thursday, the front office and coaching staff are taking last-minute evaluations of their projected roster. With most of the prospects now reporting to minor league camp, the major league roster has become set with just a few roles yet to be addressed. The most notable vacancies include a few bullpen spots and the final bench role with Jeff McNeil now seeming to be ready.

Throughout the totality of spring training, a couple of players have been nice surprises while others have been disappointing. Jose Iglesias' defense and Trayce Thompson's power surge have certainly stood out from the pack. On the opposite end, Brett Baty and Shinatro Fujinami have not bred more confidence in the third base and bullpen situations. However, some performances have not garnered as much attention, particularly the growth of some of the younger players with something to prove in 2024. Of that group, who has garnered more credibility this spring training?

1. Francisco Alvarez

At first glance, Francisco Alvarez's performance does not attract much attention from the fanbase. He has hit a couple of home runs this spring training, proving his power ability is still a special trademark. His willingness to learn the English language fluently is impressive and reflects his maturity at just 22 years old. In summary, fans do not think much about the young catcher in spring training since Alvarez is guaranteed a roster spot no matter his offensive statistics.

However, Alvarez's defense has been spectacular in spring training. The 22-year-old offseason priority was to enhance his pop-up time and throwing ability, calling his 2024 performance 'unacceptable'. Alvarez has been working with catching coach Glenn Sherlock on his footwork, particularly his stance behind the plate.

Sherlock described the change in stature as having a more traditional catcher's squat that enables Alvarez to keep his precise pitch-framing ability. So far, the results have translated as Alvarez has thrown out 6 out of 10 base stealers in 11 games this spring. In short order, Alvarez is on pace to become the first true 5-tool player the Mets have developed in quite some time.