New York Mets: Francisco Alvarez Ranked 4th Best Catching Prospect

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 04: The MCU Park baseball field at Coney Island is closed during the coronavirus pandemic on May 04, 2020 in New York City. COVID-19 has spread to most countries around the world, claiming over 252,000 lives with over 3.6 million infections reported. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Francisco Alvarez is the prized catching prospect for the New York Mets, and MLB has noticed the 19-year old. Alvarez is ranked fourth among the top 2021 catching prospects and the lone teenager in the top-10.

Alvarez is in elite company behind former number one-pick Adley Rutschman and two catchers with MLB experience, Joey Bart and Luis Campusano. Each catcher is at least three years older than Alvarez, which shows the high ceiling he possesses.

Offensive Star

Mike Rosenbaum put Alvarez and Rutschman’s hitting ability in the same class. Rutschman is projected to join the Baltimore Orioles during the upcoming season and become an All-Star for years to come. Putting each catcher at the same level with the bat is a great sign for a Mets prospect with only 42 professional games under his belt. Alvarez also impressed the Mets with his production at the alternate site during 2020.

His defense is what separates him from being at the top of the list. Alvarez still needs to improve his blocking and throw-downs, but combining his arm strength with more experience will make him a quality defender behind the plate. His presence behind the plate gives the Mets confidence he will become a leader with key intangibles like James McCann.

Mets fans will likely have to wait until 2023 to see Alvarez, but he will only be 22 at that point. With McCann handling business behind the plate for the next four years, the Mets are set up well in the catching department for years to come. We may even see a McCann-Alvarez partnership towards the end of McCann’s deal.