The New York Mets will be calling up their top prospect and the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball, Francisco Alvarez, according to multiple reports on Thursday night.
Alvarez has risen up the charts of MLB Pipeline‘s rankings over the last two seasons as the premiere young talent in the minor leagues, batting .260 with an .885 OPS, 27 home runs, and 78 RBI in 112 games across Double-A and Triple-A.
He posted a .921 OPS with 18 home runs and 47 RBI with Double-A Binghamton before a slow start to life in Triple-A Syracuse, but he came around down the final stretch of the season by batting .346 with a 1.076 OPS, four home runs, and 13 RBI over his last 14 games.
The 20-year-old provides the promise of an immediate offensive upgrade at either the catcher or designated hitter spot. Any at-bats in the majors will most likely come in the latter role as placing a rookie behind to call games in the middle of a division-title race.
The Mets begin a three-game series in Atlanta against the second-place Braves with a one-game lead in the NL East and six games left to play. Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, and Chris Bassitt are projected to start for New York — the first two of the series having worked with Alvarez during rehab starts in Binghamton and Syracuse, respectively.
A more likely scenario would see him step in as a potential designated hitter option considering the inconsistent and slumping play of the Mets’ two trade deadline acquisitions in Daniel Vogelbach and Darin Ruf. The team was looking to add a spark by calling up Mark Vientos earlier this month, but he’s just 4-for-28 to start his MLB career.
Despite the late call-up, Alvarez can still be eligible to be added to the Mets’ postseason roster as an injury replacement player.