25. Francisco Alvarez, C
Height: 5’11”, Weight: 220 lbs.
DOB: 11/19/01 (17)
Acquired: IFA, July 2, 2018 (Guatire, Venezuela)
Considered one of the top international rookies in the 2018-2019 class, the Mets pounced on Venezuelan catcher Francisco Alvarez, immediately signing him for a club-high $2.7 million, breaking Ronny Mauricio’s then-record $2.1 million signing bonus.
Alvarez currently has a power-over-hit profile, as the current timing and rhythm of his swing limits his ability to hit for contact. He stands tall at the plate, with a wide base. He lunges towards the ball, getting the force of his body into his swing, generating power but making his susceptible to swinging-and-missing.
Behind the plate, stocky 5’11””, 220-pound catcher’s defense lags behind his offense, but he has a solid foundation to work with. He possesses a strong arm and generally shows solid defensive instincts behind the plate, moving surprisingly well for someone his size. Some scouts and evaluators are worried that his already stocky body will grow too big and unathletic to stick behind the dish, forcing him to change positions and lose a great deal of his value. If so, he will likely be limited to just first base, as he lacks speed and quick twitch explosiveness.
Steve Sypa says:
The early reports aren’t particularly exciting to me, but the Mets certainly liked what they saw in Alvarez to give him a record-breaking signing bonus. He has yet to suit up professionally, let alone stateside or in full-season ball, so it’s safe to forget Alvarez exists for a couple years.
Lukas Vlahos says:
Another July 2 signee that I got a bit too excited for, Alvarez has yet to play stateside. The 16-year-old catcher was ranked as the 9th best player in this years class by Baseball America, and the Mets inked him for $2.9 million. He generates big time raw power with a relatively simple swing, and he has a body that should let him continue catching. If there’s someone that could pull a Mauricio this upcoming season, it’s probably Alvarez.
Kenneth Lavin says:
I left Alvarez off of my personal top 25 list because the only thing I really know about him is that he’s a catcher from Venezuela that the Mets gave a club record $2.9 million bonus to during the 2018-2019 IFA signing period. From what I understand, his offensive game is currently well ahead of his defensive game, but as a general rule I don’t put much stock into anything I hear about a player prior to their stateside debut. We will probably know more about his potential big league prospects at this time next year, especially if the Mets decide to put him on the fast development track that they previously put other big ticket IFA signings, like Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez, and Ronny Mauricio, on in the past.