The New York Mets have been searching for a star catcher since the days of Paul Lo Duca and Mike Piazza. Fans have seen players cycle in and out of the position for years, withstanding seasons with the likes of Rod Barajas, Anthony Recker, Josh Thole, and Wilson Ramos. They let a struggling Travis d’Arnaud go and he has since seen success and a World Series Championship with the Atlanta Braves, paving his way behind the dish and at the plate.
Before the start of the 2021 campaign, the Mets elected to sign James McCann over J.T. Realmuto. The organization thought they finally found their star after seeing few differences between the aforementioned players, aside from their asking price.
But a year and a half into the McCann experiment, the Mets have not seen the signing pay off too much. McCann is currently on the injured list after fracturing a finger, but prior to being sidelined, the 32-year-old former All-Star recorded just 11 hits and one home run in 56 at-bats for a dismal batting average of .196.
What’s worse, his backups are Tomás Nido and recently called up Patrick Mazeika. While Nido has contributed slightly, the Mets cannot expect much from these two in terms of offensive production.
That’s why the Mets are keeping tabs on their top prospect, 20-year-old Francisco Álvarez.
Earlier this season it seemed clear Álvarez was going to stay in the minors this season. But his offensive power has raised heads in the organization and throughout MLB.
In June, the young stud is hitting .308/.321/.846 with four home runs and two doubles in seven games and has a 1.000 OPS in Double-A Binghamton. This season he has slashed .275/.348/.549 with 13 home runs and 33 RBI. He has a 142 WRC+.
Although the Mets hoped for Álvarez to go through the minor league system and work up to Triple-A Syracuse, his production on the field is one of the best in the Minors and the organization as a whole.
We will see what happens, but I imagine Álvarez will continue his success and parlay it into a nice career in Flushing. That’s the hope, anyway.
(Photo: Alejandra Villa Loarca/Newsday/Cropped)