2) Francisco Alvarez
Francisco Alvarez is another guy who took a little while to get going in the majors but once he did, there was no looking back. He went through some rough patches here and there, but overall he exceeded his lofty expectations in 2023.
Alvarez slashed .209/.284/.437 with 25 home runs and 63 RBI in 123 games. Obviously he wasn't perfect, but Alvarez hitting 25 home runs as a 21-year-old rookie catcher certainly got Mets fans fired up. He led the National League and was second in all of baseball in home runs for a catcher. He wasn't as good overall offensively as guys like Adley Rutschman or Will Smith, but he was among the best catchers in baseball without a doubt.
Having as good of a rookie year as Alvarez did means fans will expect him to not only replicate what he did, but improve upon it. Alvarez should hit for a higher average than .209. He should try to find a way to limit his strikeouts a little better. He can make a push for 30+ home runs. He can do a much better job against left-handed pitching. Let's not forget some improvements that could be made behind the dish as well.
At just 22 years old Alvarez is now expected to be a key power bat in the middle of the lineup while also catching just about every day. He has the full reigns with no threat behind him to take his job. Let's hope that in 2024 Alvarez can be more consistent offensively. He had three separate months this season in which he posted a sub-.550 OPS. That can and should be improved.
Expecting Alvarez to take a leap into the all-star conversation shouldn't be out of the question. He's earned these lofty expectations thanks to his play.