Francisco Alvarez, the Mets’ slugging wunderkind, is just a step away from the major leagues.
The Mets have promoted their top prospect to Triple-A Syracuse, a source said Saturday night, after he crushed Double-A pitching while spending the past three months with Binghamton. Team officials tend to characterize his arrival in the majors this year as unlikely but possible; if it happens, it likely would be as a DH instead of as a full-time catcher.
Just 20 years old, Alvarez has impressed ace Max Scherzer (who pitched to him Wednesday) and James McCann (his fellow catcher) during recent rehabilitation assignments.
Alvarez finished his Double-A run with a .277 average, .368 OBP and .553 slugging percentage. He amassed 18 home runs and 16 doubles in 67 games but also struck out (71 times) nearly twice as much as he walked (36).
Alvarez’s defense has not progressed as quickly as his bat, as one would expect of such a young backstop.
“The tools are there,” McCann told Newsday recently. “I joked with [Alvarez] and said if he was a leftfielder, he’d probably be in the big leagues. They wouldn’t be talking about his defense.”