francisco alvarez mets
Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

More than a few people would love to see Mets top prospect Francisco Alvarez and his powerful bat in the big leagues on Opening Day. But with Omar Narvaez and Tomas Nido ahead of him on the catcher depth chart, it’s unlikely to happen right away. New York wants him to be the total package and recall him to the Show the next time it happens.

Narvaez isn’t in camp right now because he’s playing for Team Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. So, that means Alvarez will have more opportunities to get time behind the plate during MLB spring training games. His first extended opportunity came on Wednesday night in an exhibition game vs. Team Nicaragua.

Max Scherzer was on the hill. While he didn’t need any help from the fielders behind him, it was a chance for the top prospect to continue building a working relationship with New York’s co-ace. Here’s what the right-hander had to say about pitching to Alvarez on Wednesday (quotes via SNY):

We’re continuing to work together, get on the same page, understand what we’re trying to do with each pitch. He did a good job of putting the target where I wanted. We’re getting a better rapport in that way.

We talked about how we were sequencing, how we were working together, rhythm. Different things we were seeing. He did a good job tonight.

Scherzer also mentioned he didn’t have a feel for his slider during this start. Since games don’t count right now, he kept wanting to throw it to get the feel back. With that in mind, it was a little harder for both of them to get on the same page. Seems like everything went just fine, though.

Manager Buck Showalter was also complimentary of the 21-year-old during his post-game press conference:

The tidbit about Scherzer specifically saying it’d be OK for Showalter to put Alvarez behind the plate last year is telling. Especially since he’s never shown a preference for someone to catch him to his skipper previously.

Of course, Scherzer and Alvarez actually had a chance to work together last June when the hurler was rehabbing in Double-A Binghamton. Here’s what he had to say then about it:

Whenever Alvarez does get back to the big leagues, it sounds like he’s got at least one fan in Scherzer. With more chances to get behind the plate throughout the remainder of camp, it’s an opportunity to gain more (you know, like Justin Verlander).

Matt Musico can be reached at and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.


Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.