Ahead of the Mets’ Wild Card Series opener on Friday night at Citi Field against the Padres, top prospect Francisco Alvarez made some headlines. And it’s not because of anything he particularly did — it’s just by his mere presence.
The 20-year-old is making Mets history by being the youngest player on New York’s postseason roster, as reported by Andy Martino of SNY:
Francisco Alvarez will make Mets wild card roster per source
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) October 7, 2022
This kind of decision is going to make waves throughout #MetsTwitter and for good reason. This kid has been pegged as baseball’s top prospect, and even though he’s racked up just 14 big-league plate appearances, he gives New York the biggest upside against left-handed pitching.
Darin Ruf, while he’s still on the roster himself, has done next to nothing since getting acquired by New York at the trade deadline. Mark Vientos has had some moments since getting called up, but clearly not enough to instill enough confidence in the coaching staff to have him be the main part of the Designated Hitter platoon.
Another notable inclusion is Starling Marte, who hasn’t played at all over the last month because of a fractured finger he suffered in Pittsburgh. The outfielder has been engaging in baseball activities over the past week or so, but his being on the roster is certainly a surprise. That’s mostly the case because we’ve heard he could grip a bat and ball recently, but hadn’t done any throwing or legit two-handed swinging. That we knew of, at least.
Maybe there was some dramatic improvement over the last couple of days. Maybe the Mets just played Marte’s progress close to their vest. We’ll see exactly how involved he’ll be in this series soon enough.
Some notable omissions from the Wild Card roster are Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker, and Trevor Williams. They each either started or pitched a significant number of innings during New York’s final regular-season series this week. The club has opted to go reliever-heavy with its pitching staff according to New York Post‘s Joel Sherman, which makes sense given how short of a series it is and the turnaround needed for each of these three to be ready for game action.
As reported by Jon Heyman, Vientos and Tyler Naquin are also not on the Wild Card roster.