Álvarez readies for The Show, eyes continued improvement

July 17th, 2022

LOS ANGELES -- Francisco Álvarez is hesitant to talk about what his future might hold. He understands that the timing of his big league debut isn’t entirely in his hands.

But despite having just eight games under his belt with Triple-A Syracuse, Álvarez, MLB's No. 2 overall prospect per MLB Pipeline, feels like he’s prepared to handle everything that comes with being a Major Leaguer. 

“I’ve always said that my dream has always been to play in the big leagues,” Álvarez said in Spanish prior to Saturday’s SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. “I’m not losing patience or anything like that. I’ve always wanted to play in the Majors, but I’m always ready for whatever they decide.”

With the Mets looking for offense, fans in and around Queens have expressed their desire to see the 20-year-old at the big league level, sooner rather than later. Álvarez said he definitely hears all of the chatter, but he tries to ignore it as his main focus is on trying to improve both offensively and defensively. On Saturday, he drew a walk across two plate appearances.  

Many observers believe Álvarez’s bat could already play at the big league level. That’s what makes Álvarez an intriguing option -- he could come up as a designated hitter this season and not even necessarily need to catch. The Mets, of course, will continue to be aggressive to improve their roster and won’t rush their top prospect.

“If they see me as a key piece and they need me to be the DH, then I’ll definitely do it,” Álvarez said. “But I’m a catcher. I love catching and I think I can catch at the big league level.”

Defense is definitely the area Álvarez needs to continue to improve, also not unusual for a backstop at his age. He does, however, feel that he has made big strides behind the plate this season. Álvarez recently got a chance to catch both Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom on rehab assignments.

“For me, the most important thing is understanding what pitch to call in those key moments,” Álvarez said. “When we have runners on base, understanding which pitch I want the pitcher to throw, learning and remembering which pitches we’ve thrown to hitters in their previous at-bats, all of those things are key.”