NEW YORK -- Francisco Álvarez, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the top prospect in baseball, is in jeopardy of missing significant time due to a right ankle injury, according to a source briefed on the situation. A second source acknowledged the injury but called the idea of Álvarez missing the rest of the season “premature.” He will undergo testing in New York in the coming days to determine next steps.
The 20-year-old catcher has not played since Tuesday due to ankle discomfort. Before that, Álvarez had established himself as one of the most productive power hitters in the upper Minors, smashing 24 homers in 99 games split between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Syracuse.
Had Álvarez remained healthy, he would have merited at least outside consideration as a September callup for the Mets, perhaps in a DH role down the stretch or in the postseason. That’s now far less likely given his injury. It is unclear at this time if surgery is an option for Álvarez’s issue.
Álvarez is slashing .180/.340/.378 since his promotion to Syracuse, where he is the youngest player at the level. The Mets, who signed Álvarez to a record $2.7 million contract as an international free agent in 2018, consider him their catcher of the future. He has been their top-ranked prospect since Spring Training and recently became Pipeline’s top overall prospect as well.
“He loves to work,” Syracuse manager Kevin Boles said last month. “He’s upbeat, very intelligent and has a chance to be a leader in the clubhouse. I know he’s kind of feeling his way through here. We’ve got some older guys, but he’s really fitting in nicely.”