Now that the 2022 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a deeper dive into the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the roster for the Mets at the end of the season from A (Pete Alonso) to W (Trevor Williams). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue the series today with a catcher Francisco Alvarez.
Player Review: Francisco Alvarez
Minor Leagues (2 Teams): 112 Games, 411 At Bats, .260 Batting Average, 107 Hits, 22 Doubles, 27 Home Runs, 78 RBIs, 74 Runs Scored, 70 Walks, .885 OPS
Regular Season: 5 Games, 12 At Bats, .167 Batting Average, 1 Double, 1 Home Run, 1 RBI, 3 Runs Scored, 2 Walks, .786 OPS, 0.0 WAR
Postseason: 1 Game, 1 At Bat, .000 Batting Average
Story: Francisco Alvarez showed up to spring training as the top prospect in the Mets’ farm system. After making a strong impression in camp, Alvarez was assigned to AA Binghamton to start the year and tore the cover off the ball. Alvarez earned a second consecutive trip to the Futures Game and was promoted to AAA Syracuse after the All-Star Break but the Mets were hesitant to give him a promotion to the major leagues despite getting minimal production from their catching tandem of James McCann and Tomas Nido. It looked like Alvarez’s season would come to an end due to an ankle injury in August but he received an injection in the ankle that allowed him to return to the lineup in mid-September.
Alvarez proceeded to torch AAA pitching for the remainder of the regular season and earned a call-up from the Mets in September when they needed an option for a right-handed hitting designated hitter. The Mets threw Alvarez right into the fire with starts in their critical series against the Atlanta Braves and he was a bit overmatched but looked sharp in the team’s final regular season series with Washington, delivering his first major league home run on October 4 at Citi Field. Alvarez ended up making the Mets’ postseason roster and received just a single at bat in the Wild Card Series, striking out in the ninth inning of Game 1 and getting bypassed for Darin Ruf in Game 2 with lefty Blake Snell on the mound for the San Diego Padres.
Alvarez would have earned an A+ if we factored his minor league performance in since his excellent season helped Alvarez become the top prospect in baseball. Alas, it is tough to grade Alvarez on just a handful of big league at bats.
Contract Status: Pre-Arbitration Eligible
Odds of Returning: 100%
2023 Role: Platoon Catcher/Designated Hitter
The Mets clearly felt that Alvarez was ready to hit at the big league level but held him back in the minor leagues due to concerns over his ability to handle a big league pitching staff. Alvarez doesn’t have much left to prove at AAA so expect him to make the team out of camp and split his time behind the plate and as the right-handed hitting DH. This approach would allow Alvarez to get acclimated to the big league level in 2023 with an eye on him becoming the full-time catcher by 2024.
Check back tomorrow as our Player Review Series continues with a look at relief pitcher R.J. Alvarez!