Buck Showalter
Tommy Gilligan | USA TODAY Sports

The Mets are in win-now mode thanks to the managerial brilliance of Buck Showalter and the talent on the roster. They’ve undergone a tremendous start to the year, sitting atop the National League East at 37-19.

But there’s nothing wrong with looking to the future as well. And behind the plate, the future is pretty bright in Queens. ESPN has named catcher Francisco Alvarez as the top prospect in the minor leagues.

Alvarez is the youngest of this group by more than six months (still just 20 years old until almost Thanksgiving) and continues to hum right along, demolishing Double-A. He’s playing the most valuable position on the field at catcher and is good enough to stay back there.

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Keep in mind that we’re looking only at the surface-level stats available to anyone (teams have much more advanced options). But using those for this group, as well as adding an age and positional value credit, the 2022 information is strongest for Alvarez.


At just 20 years old, Alvarez is putting up significant numbers for Double-A Binghamton, slashing .274/.342/.514 with 10 home runs and 28 RBI in 45 games (175 at-bats). But the talent doesn’t stop there. Alvarez currently has a .999 fielding percentage with just four errors committed in 279 1/3 innings.

Alvarez remaining consistent both at the plate and behind it would be crucial for an organization looking to be one of the NL’s best for years to come. He’s primed to be a more talented MLB-level backstop than James McCann, who’s under contract with the Mets through 2024. Meanwhile, Tomas Nido will be entering his second arbitration year in 2023 and hasn’t proven to be an everyday bat in this Mets lineup. He’ll likely return to a bench role once McCann is back from his wrist injury.

The Mets seem set with various infield positions for the future just as long as Steve Cohen upholds his big-spender reputation and is willing to dish out cash for team staples who deserve it. Alvarez eventually joining the major league squad and fulfilling a crucial role should help take this team to a new level, which is exciting when you consider how well the Mets are already playing without him.

Ryan Honey is a senior NFL analyst, betting writer, and podcaster for Elite Sports NY. He hosts the Wide Right Podcast, which serves as both a New York Giants podcast and sports betting show.