Some things are given as laws of reality that cannot be bent, broken or changed. The only sure things in life are death and taxes but you could lay out money fairly safely on Francisco Alvarez beginning and ending the year in the minors. The Mets have a high paid catcher and a suitable backup in the majors with James McCann and Tomas Nido and their offense is deep enough that their catchers will almost always be hitting ninth in their lineup.


Looking back at Alvarez, he hadn’t played any games above Advance A before 2022 and that he’s still only 21 years old. While he obliterated expectations in Low A Port St. Lucie in 2021, the numbers in Brooklyn were within a realistic spectrum of what scouts predicted. Good enough to make him the team’s number 1 prospect but not so insanely good as to suggest bending the laws of reality.


In a season that is only three games old (Alvarez only appearing in two) those very laws of propriety and sense are being threatened. In his first game of 2022 he went 3 for 5 with a pair of doubles and a home run. In his second, he was 2 for 4 with another home run. This isn’t enough information to make a crazy prediction but it does beg a question. With Alvarez set to start the year in AA and only maybe end the year in AAA, how good would he have to play (hit) to force the Mets to promote him to the majors in 2022?


Here, the answer is intriguing because it has a lot to do with how he’d have to keep playing but more to do with McCann and the rest of the Mets offense. Coming off a 3-1 series win over the Nationals, the Mets offense looked good. Eduardo Escobar, Mark Canha and Starling Marte look like excellent additions to the offense and it seems Jeff McNeil is ready to show the Mets 2021 was an off year. If 1 through 8 in the batting order are going to hit well, the Mets don’t need to reach into the well for another cup of offense, but should the lack of production from McCann and Nido begin to cost the Mets wins, things heat up in a hurry.


2022 is a make or break year for the organization as, though Steve Cohen has more money than anyone should, the Mets are set to lose a ton of pitching at the end of it. Jacob deGrom, Chris Bassit, Taijuan Walker, Edwin Diaz, Seth Lugo, Trevor May, Adam Ottavino, Trevor Williams and maybe Carlos Carrasco (not to mention Brandon Nimmo) are all set to depart after the season. Now, Cohen could go out and spend even more money but that is a problem for the offseason. It’s still 2022 and the Mets look like one of the top eight teams in baseball.


If Alvarez has an OPS over 1.000 (into June) and the Mets offense in Queens is faltering, the clamor to promote him to the majors will force an eventuality that many would deem impossible. Until then, there is plenty of reason to subscribe to MILB TV and tune in to watch the Binghamton Rumble Ponies play.


AAA: Syracuse Mets


Where Has All the Pitching Gone?


The pitching at the AAA level wasn’t supposed to have much in the way of prospects but the AAAA depth the Mets were supposed to have has not been seen. The team is giving up hits and runs like it’s going out of style. This does not bode well should anyone on the MLB rotation/bullpen get injured.


  • Mark Vientos, 3B – #4 Prospect: The early games have been bad. He’s got a strikeout per game and only a .478 OPS to start.
  • Khalil Lee, CF – #5 Prospect: Lee was held with the MLB squad and has only played in 2 games so far. He’s got to perform at or above his 2021 numbers to maintain any relevance beyond 2022.
  • Nick Plummer, OF – #8 Prospect: Currently with the Taxi Squad.
  • Carlos Cortes, LF/2B – #9 Prospect: The man with no defensive home has to hope his bat wakes up to keep him relevant. He’s only hitting .641 OPS to start the season.
  • Thomas Szapucki, LHP – #16 Prospect: Now that he’s back from a multitude of injuries Szapucki’s reduced MPH reduces his ceiling greatly but he’s still got a shot at major league innings.
  • Travis Blankenhorn, 2B – #19 Prospect: At 25 years of age, it isn’t easy to team Blankenhorn a prospect but here we are. He’s one of the best hitters on the AAA team boasting a 1.194 OPS.


AA: Binghamton Rumble Ponies


Senger Plays Second Fiddle


The reality for Senger is that he’s going to get the minority of at bats and starts on this team. He’s a defensive catcher and he’s living in the shadow of Alvarez. Perhaps the Mets will see fit to give Senger a reprieve and shift him to AAA where he can be behind the plate more often.


  • Francisco Alvarez, C – #1 Prospect: His SLG is 1.444 and his OPS is 2.000. That’s pretty good.
  • Brett Baty, 3B – #2 Prospect: While we are all salivating over Alvarez, let’s not forget that Baty is off to a strong start with a 1.000 OPS.
  • Ronny Mauricio, SS – #3 Prospect: Another year and another reminder that Mauricio strikes out too much.
  • Jose Butto, RHP – #14 Prospect: He had a masterful debut with 4 innings of 3 hit ball with 8 lovely strikeouts. He could become the team’s top pitching prospect.
  • Hayden Senger, C – #18 Prospect: In limited at bats he’s off to an okay start but he’s going to need to make the most of being a part time player. In the end, he projects as a backup catcher so this is good for him to learn anyway.



A+: Brooklyn Cyclones


Few Storyline Players in Brooklyn


Every year there will be a team that has more or less of the buzzworthy players and right now that team is the Brooklyn Cyclones. The team has few big name prospects and a few too many names you may never even see reach AA.


  • Jaylen Palmer, Util – #15 Prospect: It’s early and nobody on the team is doing much hitting but Palmer needs to do more than a .300 OPS.
  • Jose Peroza, 3B – #17 Prospect: A darling of the 2021 season, Peroza is now on the radar and will need to get things going in order to stay in the scouts good graces.
  • Junior Santos, RHP – #20 Prospect: His start was one to forget. He only last 2.0 innings, gave up 2 hits and 4 walks while striking out none.


A: Port St. Lucie Mets


Ladies and Gentleman, Alex Ramirez


In the first three games of the 2022 seasons the St. Lucie leadoff hitter has been the star of the team. Ramirez was an international signee with quite a lot of buzz back when he was signed, with the dreaded “Five Tool” tag attached to his name. What he’s done thus far is the most important thing he could be doing, hitting. He’s going to be a higher strikeout leadoff hitter and until he can learn patience at the plate he needs to be sure his contact is good. So far, so good.


  • Alex Ramirez, CF – #7 Prospect: See above.
  • Calvin Ziegler, RHP – #10 Prospect: He’s got his first start out of the way and, all things considered, it was okay. Nothing to write home about but, okay is more than can be said for some.
  • Dominic Hamel, RHP – #13 Prospect: Yet to pitch.
  • Mike Vasil, RHP – #30 Prospect: His first start was very promising. 4.0 innings pitched, 6 strikeouts and a 0.50 WHIP.
  • Stanley Consuegra, OF – #50 Prospect: It’s early but it’s good to see an international player who had some buzz getting some good results in the early going.
  • Shervyen Newton, SS – NR: I am acknowledging that this player is playing well and pointing out he’s repeating Low A for the third time and is a strikeout machine. Don’t be fooled.


3 comments on “Mets Minors: Francisco Alvarez tempts the impossible

  • ChrisF

    I just cant see getting his MLB clock moving if the season is as bad as it would seem to get to needing him.

    You know better than anyone, pushing the doors down gets noticed, but so does learning how to manage struggles when they inevitably arrive as they do for all – which is a lot easier to do in Syracuse than Queens. (see Jared Kelenick)

    • Brian Joura

      We have the richest owner in MLB – we can stop making decisions based on service time. It was the right decision to bring up Alonso in 2019 to start the season. And it’s a very real possibility that bringing up Alvarez this year will be the right decision, too. Just like it was the right decision to bring up Conforto for the last 1/3 of 2015.

      The Mets are not some offensive juggernaut that they can live with sub-Plaweckian production from both of their catchers.

      • David Groveman

        This was going to be my point, more or less. The lineup is much deeper with Marte, Escobar and Canha but you look at McCann or Nido as an out in most of their at bats. Alvarez has the hitting potential to slot into the middle of a lineup, particularly with lefty pitchers on the mound. All of this requires that he continue his hot start which is far from guaranteed.

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