The Mets’ 18 year old catching prospect continues to build hype.
While the Mets’ farm system has not been very well regarded over the past few years, it has had more to do with its lack of depth than lack of a few key prospects. Since being signed out of Venezuela at the age of 16 to a club-record $2.7 million deal, Alvarez has been one of the more intriguing players in the Mets’ system. As our minor league crew has pointed out, he’s got tools for days, looking good on both sides of the ball in his brief professional career.
As the youngest player in the Appalachian League in 2019, Alvarez hit .282/.377/.443 over 35 games, appearing at catcher in 23. Our Steve Sypa praised his offensive potential, saying:
Alvarez has a very advanced approach at the plate for someone so young. He stands with a wide base, holding the bat high and barring it behind his head. He swings using a toe tap mechanism, generating power from his stocky body and above-average bat speed. The swing itself is loose and flows, and the ball really jumps off his bat when he makes solid contact. His frame is unlikely to fill in much more, but he will likely add more power in the future thanks to refinements in his swing and an improved eye- and as it is, he already a good eye and a fairly patient approach, recognizing spin well and displaying a good sense of the strike zone.
Perhaps even more exciting is his defensive make up. Again, Sypa says:
Though a stocky 5’11”, 220-lbs., he is incredibly mobile behind the dish. In the future, his weight may need effort to maintain, but for now, it should be no issue. He is adept at framing and blocking pitches. His arm is above-average, as are his pop times, release and accuracy. He is wise beyond his years, handling his pitching staff well and generally being an energetic gamer and excellent clubhouse presence. He is also tough as nails, taking a beating behind the plate but not letting it stop him getting into games.
It is easy to fall in love with a prospect based on simply reading about him and seeing him perform very well against lower-level competition. But Alvarez seems to have a handle on just about all aspects of his game, and is only 19 years old. A ton may go wrong before he ever steps foot in Citi Field, but it is incredibly easy to dream on this kid.
Because he is so young, there is almost no chance that he plays an inning for the Mets in 2021, and likely not in 2022 either. But there is a reason that Alvarez is, reportedly, among the untouchable prospects in the Mets’ system.