HARTFORD, Conn. – Mets fans who packed Dunkin’ Donuts Park on Wednesday night to see Max Scherzer’s minor league rehab start also got a good look at top catching prospect Francisco Alvarez.
Alvarez, 20, hit a 452-foot two-run homer completely out of the ballpark to leftfield in the third inning of the Mets’ Double-A affiliate Binghamton Rumble Ponies’ 7-3 victory over the Hartford Yard Goats.
It was Alvarez’s 18th home run in 64 Double-A games this season.
Alvarez also got to catch Scherzer, the 37-year-old three-time Cy Young Award winner. The notoriously picky Scherzer said it was “good” to throw to Alvarez.
“Just trying to get on the same page with him,” Scherzer said after the 4 2/3-inning, 80-pitch outing. “I’m blind. I don’t have any [information] on the hitters. When you don’t even have reports on anything, it’s just difficult, knowing which pitch to throw and what sequence and knowing when you’re right and when Alvarez is right. He’s seen these hitters more than I have, so he had different thoughts on situations, what he felt like was right. Sometimes I felt like I was right. That’s a process of throwing to a young kid for the first time. He made some adjustments along the way. Worked with me pretty well. So excited to see what he can do.”
Alvarez said in spring training that he hopes to reach the majors this season. That might not seem so hard to fathom now as he is tearing up Double-A as one of the youngest players on that level. Alvarez, who went 1-for-4, is batting .275 with 16 doubles, 47 RBIs and a .919 OPS.
Behind the plate, Alvarez had a throwing error on the third of three stolen bases by Hartford while Scherzer was in the game, and he also picked up a second throwing error after Scherzer left. Hartford had five stolen bases on the night.
The Mets are said to be considering using Alvarez as a designated hitter in the majors down the stretch if the production at that position doesn’t pick up and/or they don’t make a deal for a bat before the Aug. 2 trade deadline.
Two other top Mets prospects played in the game. Third baseman Brett Baty went 0-for-3 with a walk and committed an error with Scherzer pitching that led to an unearned run. Shortstop Ronny Mauricio went 3-for-4 but was twice picked off first base.