The New York Mets are set to call up top prospect Francisco Álvarez in time for their pivotal upcoming weekend series against the Atlanta Braves, Daniel Álvarez-Montes reports. Joel Sherman adds that Álvarez figures to be in line for playing time in the postseason, particularly against left-handed pitchers, albeit as a designated hitter.
The 20-year-old Álvarez is widely regarded to be the top prospect in all of baseball. This season, he's batted .260/.374/.511 with 27 home runs in 130 games split between the Double- and Triple-A levels. Suffice it to say, that's excellent production for a 20-year-old in his first tour of the high minors. That's especially the case given that Álvarez mans the premium position of catcher. For his minor-league career, Álvarez, a right-handed batter, owns an OPS of .911 across parts of three seasons.
Coming into the 2022 season, our own R.J. Anderson ranked Álvarez as. Here's part of what he wrote:
"Despite his youth, he hit .272/.388/.554 with 24 home runs across two levels in 2021. Part of Álvarez's season included a stint with the St. Lucie Mets. It was then that he posted the highest average exit velocity the league saw all season -- and that league included the likes of Jordan Walker, Anthony Volpe, and Austin Hendrick. It's rare to see such offensive potency from a young backstop who is certain to remain behind the plate."
Álvarez will be poised to make his major-league debut in the biggest series of the year for the Mets. The Mets are ahead of the Braves by just a single game in the National League East standings, and the upcoming series at Truist Park may indeed determine who takes the division title. The stakes are high, as the NL East winner will earn a first-round bye straight to the Division Series along with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL bracket. The runner-up in the division, meanwhile, will be forced to play a best-of-three Wild Card Series, likely against the San Diego Padres.
Left-hander Max Fried is Atlanta's scheduled starter in the series opener on Friday night, so Álvarez may find himself thrown right into the fire.