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Mets Minor League Players of the Week: Week Twenty Four

What minor league players put up the best numbers this past week, September 20th to September 25th?

Syracuse Mets v Lehigh Valley IronPigs
Francisco Alvarez
Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Francisco Alvarez

Week: 5 G, 17 AB, .412/.524/.706, 7 H, 2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 4 BB, 5 K, 0/0 SB (Triple-A)

2022 Season: 110 G, .257/.367/.511, 104 H, 22 2B, 0 3B, 27 HR, 66 BB, 123 K, 0/0 SB, .295 BABIP (Double-A/Triple-A)

After lighting up the Eastern League with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, Alvarez’ production plummeted after being promoted to the Syracuse Mets. From July 4, his first game with Syracuse, until August 23, the last day he played before being put on the injured list with an ankle injury, he hit .180/.340/.378 with 6 home runs, 24 walks, and 40 strikeouts. Thanks to the handful of home runs and all the walks he was drawing, the backstop was still at least a productive member of the lineup, but it was a far cry from the .277/.368/.553 batting line he posted with Binghamton prior to the promotion.

Since returning from the injured list, Alvarez has been a man possessed, making up for lost time. In 11 games, Alvarez is hitting .341/.438/.610 with 2 doubles, 3 home runs, and 10 walks to 12 strikeouts. There certainly was an adjustment period after getting promoted, but details are also scarce about Alvarez’ injury, and when it began bothering him and just how much of an impact it was having on his hitting. Hopefully, both issues are now in the rear view mirror. Eleven games is a small enough sample size yes, but at the same time, we know what Alvarez is capable of; there’s a reason he is considered one of the best prospects in all of baseball currently, if not the best, period.

Jose Butto

Week: 1 G (1 GS), 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 K (Triple-A)

Season: 27 G 25 GS), 127.0 IP, 111 H, 53 R, 50 ER (3.54 ERA), 44 BB, 136 K, .301 BABIP (Double-A/Triple-A/MLB)

This start was Butto’s best this season, with an 83 Game Score. It was the third time he pitched seven innings and second time that he went seven while not allowing a run. Unlike that other start, where he gave up four hits and struck out three Rochester Red Wings, Butto tied a season-high and career-high mark of 11 strikeouts in his outing this past week.

As we saw in his spot start against the Philadelphia Phillies at the end of August, Butto does not have major league quality stuff at this point in his career. His fastball is a solid, league average pitch and his changeup looked good against major league hitters in very limited usages, but that is more-or-less Butto’s entire arsenal. The low-70s-to-low-80s curveball he uses features slight 12-6 break when he has a good feel for it or looser, slurvier break when he does not, and while that’s good enough to get minor league hitters out, it’s not good enough to get major league hitters out as a starting pitcher- as evidenced by seven earned runs in four innings.

With David Peterson and Trevor Williams already having demonstrated throughout the 2022 season that they have the ability to both start games and pitch in relief, and the return of Tylor Megill and Joey Lucchesi from injuries, Butto has moved back down the depth chart. The right-hander should continue making starts for Syracuse in 2023- barring a transformative showing for himself in spring training- but all realistic paths for Butto making an impact as a major leaguer are likely through the bullpen. His biggest weakness, a lack of a solid third pitch to allow him to get through the order multiple times, would instantly be eliminated, allowing him to make the best use of his average fastball, above-average changeup, and above-average command of both.

Players of the Week 2022

Week One (April 5-April 17): Francisco Alvarez/Jose Butto
Week Two (April 19-April 24): Daniel Palka/Keyshawn Askew
Week Three (April 26-May 1): Shervyen Newton/Alec Kisena
Week Four (May 3-May 8): Alex Ramirez/David Peterson
Week Five: (May 10-May 15): Brett Baty/Jose Chacin
Week Six: (May 17-May 22): Jaylen Palmer/Mike Vasil
Week Seven (May 24th-May 29th): Francisco Alvarez/Connor Grey
Week Eight (May 31-June 5th): Khalil Lee/Jose Butto
Week Nine (June 7-June 12): Stanley Consuegra/Nick Zwack
Week Ten (June 14-June 19): Daniel Palka/Alex Valverde
Week Eleven (June 21-June 26): Travis Blankenhorn/Dominic Hamel
Week Twelve (June 28-July 3): Alex Ramirez/Luis Moreno
Week Thirteen (July 4-July 10): Gosuke Katoh/Nick Zwack
Week Fourteen (July 11-July 17): Stanley Consuegra/Carson Seymour
Week Fifteen (July 21-July 24): Alex Ramirez/Carson Seymour
Week Sixteen (July 25-July 31): Karell Paz/Luis Moreno & Keyshawn Askew
Week Seventeen (August 1-August 7): Brett Baty/Joel Diaz
Week Eighteen (August 8-August 14): Carlos Dominguez/ Douglas Orellana
Week Nineteen (August 15-August 21): Mark Vientos/Douglas Orellana
Week Twenty (August 22-August 28): Shervyen Newton/Jeffrey Colon
Week Twenty One (August 30-September 4): Omar De Los Santos/Dominic Hamel
Week Twenty Two (September 6-September 11): Jose Peroza/ Jeffrey Colon
Week Twenty Three (September 13-September 18): Jake Mangum/Joel Diaz