3 most pleasant surprises of the Mets season so far
To call the New York Mets start to the season mediocre would be putting it nicely. Injuries and poor performances have left this $300 million team searching for answers, desperate to put together a string of wins to gain some confidence back.
While its easy to give into the doom and gloom of the rough stretch, the Mets still have plenty of time to turn things around. There will need to be vast improvements across the board, but there are currently some positives to build off of. Despite all of the early season struggles, these three Mets have provided some solid contributions all season that fans can look to for a break from the negativity.
Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez's defense has improved drastically this season
When evaluating whether Francisco Alvarez was ready for the MLB or not, the biggest concern was how he would fare behind the plate. Alvarez's defense was a red flag for many, as he rose through the minor leagues quickly and didn't get nearly enough reps at catcher as the front office wanted. Regardless, when Omar Narvaez got injured, the Mets had no choice but to call up their #1 ranked prospect.
So far, not only has Alvarez been a capable defender, he has actually emerged as one of the leagues best. Statcast ranks him as the fifth best framer across all of baseball, ranking in the 85th percentile in that department. The Mets were fearful that his defense would hurt this subpar starting rotation; instead, he's been essential in helping them get some much needed strikes.
Alvarez is far from a finished product however, as he still needs to improve at throwing out baserunners. He has shown flashes of his strong arm but allowing 19 stolen bases without a single one caught is cause for concern. However, the front office has to be satisfied with his progression on the defensive end so far. Combined with his improvement as a hitter as well, it's safe to say that Francisco Alvarez's time in the minor leagues is over.