NEW YORK -- Given Francisco Álvarez’s reputation for prodigious power, it only made sense that his first career hit was going to be a memorable home run.
Upon subbing into Game 2 of Tuesday’s Mets doubleheader against the Nationals, Álvarez crushed a 439-foot, 108.9-mph homer deep into the left-field stands. A stadium worker grabbed the ball for Álvarez, who intends to give it to his mother.
He wasn’t done. Two innings later, Álvarez hit a 107.8-mph double, finishing with the two hardest-hit balls in the game. It was a stark turnaround for Álvarez, MLB Pipeline's No. 1 overall prospect, who had gone 0-for-8 in his first three career games last weekend in Atlanta.
“The adjustment I made was pretty much to calm the game down a little more,” Álvarez said through an interpreter. “I felt over the weekend, I was trying to get that first hit out of the way, so everything was going a little bit quicker. So I came in today with a different approach, just to be a little bit more calm and slow the game down a little more.”
Although the Mets have only a small sample size on which to judge the 20-year-old Álvarez at the highest level, his performance on Tuesday could sway their decision whether to include him in their postseason plans. The Mets are set to open a best-of-three Wild Card Series against the Padres on Friday, and while they’re likely to include veteran catchers James McCann and Tomás Nido on that roster, Álvarez could sneak in as a right-handed DH option.
“It’s not my decision,” Álvarez said. “It’s really their decision. I’ll take it fine whether I am or I’m not.”