Mets Minors: Francisco Alvarez and the Mets’ youth

With Jared Kelenic and Justin Dunn playing in the All Star Futures game while Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz look like a pair of boobie prizes it might make a Met fan feel rather grim about the future of their team.  Sure Anthony Kay looked good in AA but he’s been rotten since his promotion to AAA.  Sure, Ali Sanchez has looked like a burgeoning star in Binghamton, but he’s a defensive catcher and not a superstar who will make or break a team.

So before you despair about Adres Gimenez’s terrible 2019 season, take a good long look at the more distant future of the New York Mets.  Ladies and Gentlemen, have you been watching Francisco Alvarez?

At the ripe old age of 17, the slugging catcher has hit his way into (what used to be) a rare mid-season promotion at the Rookie level.  He obliterated the GCL pitching to such a degree that the Mets have promoted him to the Advanced Rookie League in Kingsport.  Let’s take a look at those GCL numbers:

AB H 2B 3B HR BB K BA OPS SLG
26 12 4 0 2 4 4 .462 .548 .846

The power and discipline he showed against players who averaged being 2-4 years his elder is truly impressive and now he’s facing players who average 3-5 years older than his 17 years.  When the Mets spent their big money on Alvarez last season I didn’t want to get too excited.  After all, a player signed at 16 has a very long way to go before the major league team will feel his impact, but it is possible the Mets may have a special case.

Using Ronny Mauricio as an example, it would be conceivable to have the Mets advance Alvarez past Brooklyn to Columbia to start his 2020 season.  This would put the catcher on pace to reach the majors by the time he was 20 or 21 years of age (which is exceptionally young for a catcher).  If the Mets of Queens get you down, check out the Mets of Kingsport.  There is a lot to love.

AA:
Binghamton Rumble Ponies

Andres Gimenez starts hitting? – Let’s not get overly exuberant over 10 games of hitting .294 but it’s better than he’s been.

Ali Sanchez rewards me – After writing my article he had a mini slump but appears to have pulled out of it again.

David Peterson needs to do more – Nothing has been terrible but I can’t imagine the Mets even promoting their firmer top pick to AAA in 2020.

Luis Carpio is handling AA – He hasn’t wowed like he did in St. Lucie but for a mid-season promotion I’m more than impressed.

David Thompson isn’t hitting enough – If Thompson was going to reach the majors he needed to be a star hitter in AA or AAA and he’s just been okay.

A+:
St. Lucie Mets

Thomas Szapucki reaches Advanced A – Sure, he only pitched one third of an inning but it’s good to see him moving back into the age bracket he belongs.

Jeremy Vasquez, what more can I say? – Should he be in AA? Yes. Have the Mets promoted him? No.

A:
Columbia Fireflies

Mark Vientos getting hot – He’s hitting over .300 over his last 10 games and his OPS is back above .700 for the year.

Hayden Senger is the best catcher you haven’t heard of – After a sold year for Kingsport and Brooklyn in 2018 he was a late addition to the Columbia lineup and has been a key to their offense since.

Wagner Lagrange is getting bigger hits – The power numbers he showed possible in Kingsport are beginning to shine through. I’m surprised that he’s not with Port St. Lucie yet.

Simeon Woods Richardson has steadied – He’s not looking like a future superstar but he’s not in a death spiral either.

SS:
Brooklyn Cyclones

Joe Genord looks like a diamond in the rough – Not a pick that anyone paid attention to on draft day but Genord has hit like Peter Alonso since landing in Brooklyn.

R+:
Kingsport Mets

Brett Baty and Francisco Alvarez promoted – Mets promote two of their Top 10 prospects from the GCL to the APP in their first year.

R:
Gulf Coast Mets

Jordan Humphreys begins his rehab – Nothing to write home about but throwing a baseball is better than not throwing one.

Josh Wolf & Matthew Allan still not sighted – It’s possible that we will not see any professional innings from the Mets two newest pitching prospects.

Endy Rodriguez is intriguing – The switch hitting catcher has 11 extra base hits in only 17 games and has tallied 4 more walks than strikeouts.

When Jose Peroza hits, he really hits – In 16 at bats he only has 4 hits but he’s clubbed 1 double, 1 triple and 2 home runs.  You do the math.

DSL:
Mets 1 & 2

Freddy Valdez looks strong – Over the last 10 games he’s hitting .318 with 5 multi hit games to his credit but it’s the power that impresses most.  In 27 games Valdez has 10 doubles, a triple and 2 home runs.  Let’s also not forget he’s managed 3 stolen bases.

Carlos Dominguez is a quality swinger – We all know the difference between a thrower and a pitcher well Dominguez hits really well when he makes contact (.304/.426/.544 batting line doesn’t lie) but he misses the ball a lot too (26 strikeouts in 23 games)

Federico Polanco is being developed at second – The infielder is being shifted off of short but this 5’10” infielder has also knocked 9 doubles, 5 triples and 5 stolen bases, along with a .345 batting average.

Omar De Los Santos worth noting – The outfielder might not get the hype of Valdez but he’s having a very strong season as the centerpiece of the Mets 2 lineup.

I’d like to dedicate this article to my cousin, Howard Joshua Cohen, a lifelong Met fan who past away over the last few days. Howard was diagnosed with Cerebal Palsy as a young man but lived an amazing life competing in a Boccia league around the world. Howard was a testament to defying the odds and living a full life despite adversity.

11 comments for “Mets Minors: Francisco Alvarez and the Mets’ youth

  1. TexasGusCC
    July 8, 2019 at 11:23 am

    David, my compliments on skipping over the AAA level. We don’t care about Tejada, Herrera, Davis, Blanco, or Rivera, we care about the future, and none of those guys are it. Also, Gilliam and Flexen aren’t noteworthy yet.

    Wolf is expected to report to GCL this week (can’t remember if it was July 10th or this Friday) and Allen will report also the week after.

    Jaylen Palmer is also on that loaded Kingsport team and doing well. Too, Mangum and Duplantis haven’t torn up the Penn League yet.

    • July 8, 2019 at 11:25 am

      Palmer was nearly on my list this week. Interesting to see how things shake out with he and Baty on same roster.

      • Peter Hyatt
        July 8, 2019 at 11:48 am

        The Post article on Kelenic & Dunn rubbing salt in BVW’s wounds. Both described as speaking in a manner that suggests coping w NY scrutiny.

        At Citifield—-

        Baty spoke intelligently & in a mature manner as well.

        Hopeful…

        • Chris F
          July 8, 2019 at 1:40 pm

          So then you think Kay, Dunn, Kelenic, Alonso, McNeil, deGrom and in 2021 its crazy good…maybe Giminez too…

          why not think this way?

          • July 8, 2019 at 3:19 pm

            If the Mets still had Dunn and Kelenic I’d be talking about the depth of talent in the Mets system and how Andres Gimenez is now not in the Top 5…

      • Mike Walczak
        July 8, 2019 at 12:49 pm

        What about Patrick Mazeika at AA?

        Looking at the whole system, it really looks kind if barren.

        It’s amazing how the Ray’s have really good players coming up year after year. And even now they just called up Nate Lowe and have Wander Franco and others waiting in the wings.

        While we are getting ready to probably dump Wheeler and dont really have anything to backfill him with.

        • July 8, 2019 at 3:53 pm

          He’s hitting for more power but didn’t do anything really noteworthy this week.

    • Chris F
      July 8, 2019 at 1:34 pm

      Tejada baby!!! Were bringing the band back together…someone text Ike and Duda sow e can have another 1B challenge!!!

  2. Peter Hyatt
    July 8, 2019 at 11:45 am

    David’s optimism —good timing.

    I think the Mets did right letting Ronny M rub shoulders w the big leaguers at Spring training camp.

    OT Question —career WAR for a pitcher above 50– Hall of Fame like?

  3. Metsense
    July 8, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    The Columbia Fireflies visited me in Hickory,NC this holiday weekend. I able able to see two games. Brian tolerated the heat, 92 degrees, and joined me Sunday.( We missed you Gus).
    The Fireflies won on the 4th of July. Ronny Mauricio, who just turned 18, impressed me. He his a switch hitter and although his didn’t get a hit,he has a level swing and blistered a line drive to the opposite field at the left fielder who caught it. In the 8th inning he made two exceptional major league defensive plays. He ranged deep into to middle a caught grounder and threw out the runner ( but the umpire missed the call). Two batters later, he went into a deep shortstop hole and rifled the throw and this time the umps made the right call.
    Woods-Richardson pitched and he had no hit stuff. He consistently lit up the radar gun 94 mph and topped at 95 mph in his last inning. Some a his curve balls were nasty. He is still raw and loses his command but he was able correct himself mid inning.The big hit the a three run homer by Brian Sharp in the Fireflies victory.
    Sunday, Brian and I enjoy the game. Mauricio rewarding us with a smoking opposite gap line drive double. Another prospect, Mark Vientos,had a good hitting game. The sun and heat was too brutal so nobody has sat near the Fireflies dugout. Brian and I moved there once the sun the low. I wore my Fireflies hat and shirt was while were approach the players saw us so I said to them, “your reinforcements are here” and the players responded “thanks”! We sat in the front row by the on deck circle and we encouraged the players on from three feet away and all acknowledged us with nods and smiles and genuinely enjoy our presence there. Even the manager Pedro Lopez and the pitching coach, Royce Ring also acknowledged us with nods and smiles. It was a cool time for Mets360.

  4. July 8, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    Metsense and I saw Columbia play yesterday. Here are my observations:

    Walter Rasquin – Pronounced Raseen, thicker body than I expected. Made a terrible play in the OF, where he went back on a ball that was hit well in front of him.
    Mauricio – Ball jumped off his bat and even his outs were loud contact
    Netwon – First name pronounced Sharvine, has a slight pigeon-toed stance, made a nice backhand play at 2B
    Hayden Senger – Built like a Tight End. Was not impressed with him defensively
    Vientos – Nothing really stood out. Tried to speak to him when he was in the on deck circle but he wasn’t interested
    Daison Acosta – Nice, easy delivery – surprised he hit 93 regularly. Had a nice change and saw a couple of curves, too. Final line didn’t look good but with decent defense three of those runs don’t score
    Wagner Lagrange – Had two hits and made a nice throw. Metsense complimented him on it and he got a hat tip from him.

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