Grading Francisco Alvarez's first half of 2023

New York Mets v San Diego Padres
New York Mets v San Diego Padres / Denis Poroy/GettyImages

Even though it has been a lost and very disappointing season for the New York Mets, there has been one bright spot for this Mets team in 2023 and that is the performance of their young catcher Francisco Alvarez. Coming into this season, we did not know if he was going to even play in the major leagues as much as he's had right now after the Mets extended fellow catcher Tomas Nido and brought in veteran Omar Naráez. But fate intervened and after Naráez suffered an injury early in the regular season and Nido's poor play at the plate set up Alvarez to take over the starting job.

And the 21-year-old took that starting job and ran with it and has been exceeding so many expectations after not playing well when he was called up towards the end of the 2022 Season and having a rough Spring Training. It is safe to say the Mets have finally found their catcher of the future and he is surely making the case to be handed a huge contract with the first half he had. But what grade exactly does Francisco Alvarez deserve for his first-half performance?

Mets Catcher Francisco Alvarez gets an 'A-' for his first half performance

This should be no surprise that Alvarez deserves a letter grade of 'A-.' Anything Met fan or baseball fan in general who does not think he does not deserve at least an 'A-' should look at the stats that he's been putting up since he got the call on April 9. For someone who only had two hits in 12 at-bats in his limited action in 2022, this has been a total turnaround in 2023.

At the end of the first half of the season, Alvarez has a total of 17 home runs which is good for first in the major leagues and has 35 RBIs on the season. He has also improved his defense a lot better this season by showing a much more impressive and stronger arm and has shown the ability to block balls thrown at him whether they're curveballs, sliders, Kodai Senga's ghost fork and any breaking ball to that matter. He's just been someone who we had doubts about heading into this season who's proved them all wrong. While he still has some issues at chasing pitches out of the strike zone every now and then which is why an 'A-' makes the most sense to give him and not an 'A', he still has improved mightily from where he was last season and has been a joy to watch.

With the Mets having a lot of ground to make up if they wish to get back into the postseason race, they hope that they will get the same version of Francisco Alvarez they got in the first half of the season or maybe even better. The fact that he's only 21 and is on a pace to hit north of 20 home runs for the year has for Mets fans excited about what he might bring to the table the rest of the season and for his career as a Met. Congratulations Francisco Alvarez, you get a much-deserved 'A-' for your first half play!