The addition of Omar Narvaez to the New York Mets roster secured the team is going to remain patient with top prospect Francisco Alvarez. He’s not going to make the Opening Day roster but should have a chance to contribute further into the season.
Expectations are high for Alvarez in the future. In 2023, they’re a little less so. What does he have in store for us this season? These three predictions tell a realistic story of what could happen.
1) Francisco Alvarez plays his first game with the Mets before July
Alvarez is not going to be with the team from day one, maybe even if Narvaez or Tomas Nido is hurt. The team will want him to catch at the higher levels of the minor leagues first. Exactly when should we expect to see him finally get into a major league game?
I’m going to predict it happens before July. When someone gets hurt and the Mets need a right-handed bat, he’s someone they can quickly turn to. An injury to Daniel Vogelbach would also open up the possibility of a quick promotion. Another scenario could be if Narvaez or Nido is hurt but not badly enough to land on the IL. In that case, the Mets shouldn’t hesitate to promote him for some at-bats and maybe a day behind the plate.
2) Francisco Alvarez will barely catch in the majors this year
Speaking of behind the plate, we’re not going to see much of Alvarez catching for the big league Mets in 2023. This is another season of development. When he is on the MLB roster, it’s going to be for his offense.
Alvarez should still pack a glove, mask, and the rest of his gear. Even if his first trip to the majors in 2023 is brief, we could see him enter games late and take over defensively. Let’s narrow it down and say he only plays defense in 20% of the games he actually plays. The other 80% fit in with the final prediction.
3) Francisco Alvarez finish the year as the Mets DH
By the time the Mets get to Game 162, I’m predicting Alvarez is the main guy they have playing as the DH. This could raise some questions and drama when the postseason arrives. Do they carry two catchers plus Alvarez? How he’s performing as a catcher will answer that question.
Vogelbach was a nice trade deadline acquisition yet not impressive enough for me to accept as the answer at the DH spot all year. Seeing Alvarez grow into a big league hitter quickly would be one of the best outcomes for the Mets. I’m predicting after some slumping early on we do see him end the year in the starting lineup.