2024 Mets outlook: Francisco Alvarez expectations and predictions

Francisco Alvarez looks to build off his 25 home run rookie campaign.
New York Mets v Arizona Diamondbacks
New York Mets v Arizona Diamondbacks / Norm Hall/GettyImages

New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez injected a lot of optimism for the future last season as his highly touted raw power generated 25 home runs, the second most by a catcher in his age-21 season or younger (Hall of Famer Johnny Bench hit 26 in 1969) and figures to be a cleanup hitter in the future. He demonstrated the clutch gene as well, as he hit six game-tying or go-ahead home runs in the sixth inning or later. Also, he earned the trust of his pitching staff, including some praise from the two future Hall of Famers the Mets dealt to teams that went to the ALCS last summer, as his catching framing was excellent (ranked 95th percentile on Baseball Savant).

So what will Francisco Alvarez do for an encore in year two, his age-22 season?

Francisco Alvarez will have a strong season in 2024 as he will have cleaned up his rookie mistakes.

There are two big things Alvarez will need to fix to round to a complete catcher, which are throwing baserunners out more consistently, and cleaning up defensive miscues. He allowed 99 stolen bases and threw out just 13 percent of base stealers, and he led the league with eight passed balls and 13 errors (many of them throwing errors). Will he improve on them?

At the plate, he hit just .209 last year with two main factors as to why. Alvarez chased so many breaking balls outside the strike zone (particularly low and away breaking and off-speed pitches), and he didn’t hit the sweet spot nearly enough. Hopefully, with Eric Chavez back as the hitting coach, Alvarez will be a more disciplined hitter this season than he was last season. If he can lay off on those pitches and focus on putting the ball in play, he will have an All-Star caliber season in 2024.

So with Alvarez, he was at one point the No. 1 overall prospect in baseball for a reason, and he has plus talent in several key areas, and with his maturity being a big reason why he’s beloved by the fans, I expect a better campaign in 2024 than he had in 2023. Barring anything unforeseen, he will be the Opening Day catcher for the Mets, and by the end of the season, he will be at least the No. 5 hitter in a Mets lineup that includes power hitters like Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso.

2024 stat predictions: .230 average, 27 home runs, 81 RBI. .770 OPS