Billy Eppler preaching patience with Francisco Alvarez promotion

Feb 16, 2023; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (50) during spring
Feb 16, 2023; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (50) during spring / Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets have been very careful about promoting their top hitting prospects. They held back the trio of Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty, and Mark Vientos a little too long last season. Would it have made much of a difference anyway?

Alvarez, the top prospect the organization has, remains a contender to contribute in a major way in 2023. Unfortunately, those hoping to see him present on the Opening Day roster will be displeased to see Billy Eppler preaching patience with the star catching prospect.

Are the Mets doing the smart thing by holding back Francisco Alvarez?

There is only really one roster spot Alvarez could take at this point. It’s the one belonging to Darin Ruf. When the team added Omar Narvaez this offseason, it signaled to everyone there was a much smaller chance for Alvarez to crack the Opening Day roster as anything more than a designated hitter. It wouldn’t be such a bad thing except the Mets still have a slimmed down Daniel Vogelbach to take the majority of those at-bats this season.

One thing the Mets haven’t done in the Billy Eppler era is change direction. They’ve said, almost from the start of his tenure, how they desire to have a winning team now and in the future. This means holding onto their best young prospects. It seems to include waiting until they’re ready for big league action, too.

Alvarez on the MLB roster doesn’t make much sense if all he does is serve as the third-string catcher and DH against lefties. It’ll stifle his growth. So, reluctantly, I agree with Eppler’s tortoise approach when it comes to unleashing Alvarez.

The Mets already went out and signed veteran catcher Michael Perez this offseason. He’ll provide them with more immediate help behind the plate if Narvaez or Tomas Nido goes down with an injury.

Based on Eppler’s latest comments, it doesn’t seem like there is any rush at all to bring Alvarez up to the big leagues. If he’s truly looking for the complete package, it may take a little longer than we’d like.

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