Double trouble: Álvarez, Mauricio homer for Binghamton

June 26th, 2022

Francisco Álvarez and Ronny Mauricio made sure they put the exclamation point on an already excellent month of June.

Álvarez, the Mets’ No. 1 prospect, and Mauricio, New York’s No. 3, both homered in Double-A Binghamton’s 11-0 win over Reading on Saturday. For Álvarez, it was his ninth homer of the month, while Mauricio’s long ball made it consecutive nights that saw him leave the yard.

Álvarez, the 20-year-old catching phenom, continues to dominate opposing pitching, with his 3-for-5 night just the latest entry in a standout stretch. He’s now slashing .284/.370/.573 through 61 games, giving him a .943 OPS that ranks fourth in the Eastern League.

After going hitless in his first two at-bats on Saturday, Álvarez singled in the fourth inning, added another in the sixth and capped off his night with a deep drive over the wall in left field in the eighth. It was his seventh three-hit game this season, tied with Detroit farmhand Kerry Carpenter for the most in the EL.

It’s easy to forget that Álvarez had an uncharacteristically poor start to the 2022 season as he familiarized himself with the new level. After hitting his second home run of the year in his sixth game on April 17, he did not go deep again until May 26 -- a 29-game span over which he hit just .209 with a .563 OPS.

In 26 games since then, he has 13 home runs -- tied with Red Sox prospect Niko Kavadas for the most in the Majors or Minors in that span -- and a 1.251 OPS.

Meanwhile, Mauricio is putting together a stretch that at the very least has positive implications for his development over the rest of the season, his latest feat being two straight games with a home run.

Mauricio also added an RBI single in the second inning on Saturday and a sacrifice fly in the fourth to give him his second four-RBI game this year.

The 21-year-old shortstop now has seven home runs in June, topping his total from April and May combined (six). He’s hitting .238 this month, but owns a .536 slugging percentage in that timeframe that places him just outside the EL top 10. The knock on Mauricio for quite some time has been inconsistencies with his plate discipline, but another good sign is that his six walks in June equal his total from the season’s first two months.

Álvarez, Mauricio and No. 2 Mets prospect Brett Baty have made Binghamton a must-watch affiliate this season. At the current rate, any combination of the trio could make the hour-long trip north to Triple-A Syracuse in the near future.