A little over a week ago, New York Mets‘ top prospect, Francisco Alvarez, shared comments with regard to his expectations on his Opening Day status. The catcher expressed his thoughts, saying, “I am 100% sure that I will be on the Mets’ Opening Day roster.” Well, to the Mets, however, not so fast.
Some fans and media alike have shared the sentiment this offseason that with major concerns about who the primary right-handed designated hitter would be, that Alvarez is the perfect fit. He still needs refinement defensively behind the plate, but the Mets have Omar Narvaez and Tomas Nido, who can take care of that. The Mets’ offense needs more talented bats than it had a year ago. Alvarez can provide that with his size and power, both of which are traits the Mets lineup needs. Lastly, prior to the recent signing of Tommy Pham, it was looking like Darin Ruf was going to be the top right-handed DH.
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New York Mets’ Francisco Alvarez not currently in contention to DH:
Andy Martino of SNY shared a report yesterday that indicated the Mets do not view Alvarez as their top right-handed DH.
“One decision they have already made: Power-hitting catching prospect Francisco Alvarez is not in the full-time DH mix. The way the organization sees it, Alvarez needs to continue to develop as a catcher, which he will probably do in Triple-A at the beginning of the year. He might DH a bit in the big leagues, but cannot be counted on to fill the position on a daily basis.”https://sny.tv/articles/mets-optimistic-about-signing-tommy-pham
Now, with the Pham signing official, it makes sense as to why the Mets will not look to potentially rush Alvarez’s development in any way. While it is disappointing to hear because Alvarez is MLB Pipeline’s number one prospect, he offers loads of upside to the Mets lineup, one that needs to be reinvigorated with talent, on the flip side, taking time with his growth could benefit him long term.
While Pham’s numbers overall are pretty underwhelming (.259 career batting average, .236 in 2022), the good thing is that as the Mets’ probable right-handed DH, Pham has hit .276 over his career against left-handed pitching.
In the end, despite palpable excitement for Alvarez along with other top Mets prospects Brett Baty and Mark Vientos, it seems like the Mets will take things slow, at least with Alvarez. For short-term purposes, it is a bit of a letdown, knowing the Mets lineup remains their top concern paired with the talent these young players have. However, it seems like the Mets are thinking big-picture, long-term with Alvarez, to continue his development as a catcher, and that could very well be what’s best for him to maximize his immense potential.