francisco alvarez mets
MLB photos via USA TODAY Sports

The most important regular-season series of the Mets’ 2022 season just gained a brand-new storyline.

Before the Mets even played their first game in Atlanta this weekend, the team sent shockwaves throughout the baseball world by calling up MLB’s top prospect, catcher Francisco Álvarez. The expectation is for him to primarily be a designated hitter versus left-handed pitchers.

Between Double-A and Triple-A this season, Álvarez has mashed. Over 112 games between these two minor league levels, he’s belted 27 home runs, along with a .885 OPS. Since joining Syracuse, Álvarez has slugged nine homers while collecting 31 RBI.

This promotion comes less than a month after former Syracuse teammate Mark Vientos got the call to the Show. Vientos, who has been exclusively used as a designated hitter since being promoted, has gone just 4-for-28 in the big leagues.

Although Álvarez is primarily a catcher, this may not mean the end of the road for current Met catchers James McCann and Tomás Nido. Instead, could it be the end of the road for the Darin Ruf experiment in New York? Ruf was acquired from San Francisco at the trade deadline but has yet to homer in a Mets uniform. Playing mostly in the DH role, his OPS of .413 has been far, far below expectations.

New York has the chance to make significant progress in winning its first division crown since 2015. In fact, a sweep in Atlanta would wrap things up entirely. It’s no exaggeration to say that Álvarez could not have joined the Mets at a more important time this season.

Road to the show? Complete. Now Álvarez joins the road to bringing a World Championship back to Flushing.

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