2) New York Mets primary designated hitter: Francisco Alvarez
The Mets have a host of suitors for the starting designated hitter role, including Daniel Vogelbach and Darin Ruf, but Francisco Alvarez has an incredible amount of raw power that translated into gameday power over the past two seasons in the minors. He hit 51 home runs in the minors since 2021 and hit another one in the majors in the last week of the regular season in October.
As of now, Alvarez is not in the Mets’ plans to be a designated hitter for now, but of course things can change over the next six weeks. He should be, because the Mets’ lack of power was a major reason why a 101-win season last year came to an abrupt early end. Alvarez has the type of power that can change, lengthen, and balance the Mets’ lineup.
Alvarez knows he has a thing or two to prove in Port St. Lucie over the next six weeks, from defense to facing major league pitching. Last year, he showed tremendous leadership, and even received positive reviews from mentor and fellow catcher Tomas Nido and a future Hall-of-Famer in Max Scherzer.
But the bottom line here is the Mets’ season will be viewed as a disappointment if they don’t make the World Series, so it would be best for Billy Eppler to bring the group of 26 that gives them the best chance to win, and Alvarez will make the team thanks to his home run potential. Brodie Van Wagenen saw that four years ago with a rookie named Pete Alonso, now Eppler must see the same if (and when) Alvarez has a great spring.