Here is an exciting sign for New York Mets fans who are concerned about the future. The Mets promoted Francisco Alvarez to Triple-A on Sunday after seeing enough of him dominating at Double-A Binghamton.
This anticipated promotion comes on the heals of Alvarez tearing up the Double-A level over the past six weeks. In his last 32 games with Binghamton, Alvarez hit .319 with 14 home runs, an 1.150 OPS. That is the type of domination that leads to promotions.
The Mets are taking the responsible approach with Francisco Alvarez's promotion
A skipover of Triple-A for Alvarez made no sense because his position as one of the best prospects in all of baseball at the age of 20 requires the organization to not throw off his development by rushing him to the major league level. This promotion to Triple-A instead of the major leagues comes in spite of Max Scherzer's recent comments regarding Alvarez's big-league readiness. His comments alone should be an encouraging sign to the fanbase.
Now, it is worth noting that baseball has seen 20-year olds dominate the sport at the highest level in recent years, such as Juan Soto and Wander Franco the past five years. So why isn't Alvarez making the leap from Double-A to the majors? Francisco Alvarez is a catcher and catchers need more time to develop.
Catchers need to understand and learn how to properly frame pitches, how to manage a pitching staff, block pitches, and call the shots behind the plate in a game. Is the talent there? No question. He has shown an above average arm to go along with his elite hitting ability. Also, the Mets' discussions around Alvarez have suggested that they will not be trading him and instead have him primed to be their franchise catcher for a while.
Also, if the Mets are still without a solution at DH before September, the Mets can effectively call him up to be the regular DH through a potential playoff run while he can shadow two excellent defensive catchers in James McCann and Tomas Nido. So there is a ton of pressure on J.D. Davis and Dom Smith over these next two months to turn their seasons around (Smith had some good at-bats the last two days against Texas, while Davis is still struggling).
Remember, one of the reasons the Mets gave James McCann a four-year deal was such that there could be a bridge that connects the Mets' catching situation from the present to the future. At the time, Alvarez originally had a 2023-2024 target to make his debut, but the timeline has shifted earlier because his development is running ahead of schedule.
Regardless, the New York Mets are in good hands at the catcher position for the short-term, and long-term future, and this should excite Mets fans.