Pirates made a debatable decision with former Mets catching prospect who "needs to work on his defense"
By Tim Boyle
New York Mets fans are rightfully frustrated by the team’s plans with Francisco Alvarez to hold him back from becoming the starting catcher. In the absence of Omar Narvaez, the Mets should be playing him as much as possible while he’s on the MLB roster. Apparently, he’ll have to earn those starts. How can he earn them without being able to actually play, though?
Anyway, Alvarez isn’t the only one-time Mets catching farmhand being misused. As Rum Bunter shared, a similar thing is happening with Endy Rodriguez.
This sounds familiar. If Alvarez needs to work on his catching defense, why is he on the Mets bench?
Former NY Mets prospect Endy Rodriguez is getting the Francisco Alvarez treatment in Pittsburgh
Rodriguez was never a prized Mets prospect but has since become a top 100 guy in MLB. He currently ranks 52nd in all of baseball.
He’s the piece the team gave up in the three-team deal to acquire Joey Lucchesi. It hasn’t worked out so well for the Mets with Lucchesi providing them with a few quality innings as a short-armed starter in 2021 and some depth to begin this year.
The Pirates are in a similar position as the Mets with Henry Davis also in their farm system. While Rodriguez has bounced around playing multiple positions, Davis has yet to fully expand his defensive game although it could be the direction they head with him. He was the first overall pick back in 2021. The Bedford, New York native actually now ranks two spots lower than Rodriguez on MLB.com’s list which is something we probably never thought would happen when he was first drafted.
In Mets context, Henry Davis is the Kevin Parada for Pittsburgh while Rodriguez is the Francisco Alvarez—just on a different scale, subject to change, and with some different circumstances.
This season hasn’t started off too well for Rodriguez. He’s coming off of a monstrous year where he batted .323/.407/.590 with 25 home runs and 95 RBI. This kind of production from a player at any position is massive. From a catcher, it’s even more impressive.
The Mets have yet to move Alvarez out from behind the plate like Rodriguez who has regularly been all over the field even back when he was with New York’s farm system. The unhappiness from the good people over at Rum Bunter on Saturday might be justified by keeping Rodriguez's bat in the lineup without having to wear him down behind the plate. If so, it makes what the Mets are doing feel a lot worse.
There is little solace in knowing the Pirates threw away even a single day to help develop one of their young budding stars, justified or not. At least he is swinging a bat in competitive games. Alvarez needs more opportunities like that.