PORT ST. LUCIE — Francisco Alvarez received’t flip 20 till subsequent offseason, by which period he hopes to have already performed his first main league sport for the Mets.
The catcher, the group’s high prospect, divulged his aim for the season Friday earlier than a exercise at minor league camp.
“Make it to the bigs,” Alvarez mentioned by an interpreter. “That’s the aim this 12 months.”
Alvarez, baseball’s No. 10 prospect, in keeping with MLB Pipeline, must present he’s prepared behind the plate if he’s going to have an opportunity at attaining that aim. Offensively, the early indicators have been optimistic — he had a slash line of .272/.388/.554 with 24 homers and 70 RBIs final 12 months in 99 video games for Low-A St. Lucie and Excessive-A Brooklyn. However solely 59 of these video games got here at catcher (he was additionally used at designated hitter), because the group regarded to maintain him recent in his first actual full season.
It’s potential he’ll start this season at Double-A Binghamton, though the Mets might additionally resolve to first give him further reps with Brooklyn, the place he performed 84 video games final 12 months.
The Mets signed the Venezuelan in 2018 for $2.7 million, a franchise-record bonus for a global participant. It was a part of a global market philosophy carried out by Sandy Alderson, throughout his tenure as basic supervisor, wherein the group regarded to signal higher-end prospects (Ronny Mauricio acquired $2.1 million the earlier 12 months) as an alternative of spreading out the Mets’ bonus allotment over dozens of gamers. Below GM Brodie Van Wagenen the Mets reverted to spreading out their bonus cash over many gamers. However following Alderson’s return as staff president, the Mets are once more pursuing higher-end gamers within the worldwide market. These fruits ought to be harvested subsequent offseason, as worldwide gamers typically attain agreements with groups one or two years earlier than formally signing.
Alvarez carries a sturdy body — he’s listed at 5-foot-11 and 233 kilos.
“I’ve been engaged on my physique, working within the weight room rather a lot and dealing on my protection and simply the whole lot, as a result of I wish to compete,” Alvarez mentioned.
The Mets have sought a long-term resolution behind the plate since Mike Piazza departed following the 2005 season. Since then, the staff has employed largely a mixture of veterans and gamers developed by the system who loved solely temporary success. A high-profile commerce acquisition, Travis d’Arnaud, spent a lot of his Mets tenure on the injured record, however has since developed right into a reliable catcher for the Braves. The Mets will head into this season with James McCann (who acquired a four-year deal value $40.6 million in December of 2020) and Tomas Nido behind the plate.
Alvarez confirmed a flash of his potential in spring coaching final 12 months when he homered in opposition to Jacob deGrom throughout a simulated sport. Alvarez nonchalantly flipped the bat as he realized the ball was about to clear the right-field fence.
“That’s one thing I’ll always remember,” Alvarez mentioned.