francisco alvarez mets mike piazza
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

When you think of Mets catching royalty, who comes to mind? For me, the first two are Gary Carter and Mike Piazza. Francisco Alvarez is entering their stratosphere when it comes to the home run department.

In New York’s 11-10 slugfest victory on Tuesday night at Citi Field, Alvarez played a huge role. He went 2-for-4 with two walks, two home runs, and four RBI. It’s already his third multi-homer game of the season. Here’s a look at these beautiful tanks again:

That brings his homer total to 19 on the year. Among MLB catchers with at least 200 plate appearances, nobody is waking up on Thursday with more dingers than Alvarez. His current pace has him on track to finish with 33 homers. That’d be the kind of power production we haven’t seen from a Mets backstop since Piazza.

But even if his pace slows down and he doesn’t reach the 30-homer plateau, he’s already in Piazza territory. Alvarez has provided the Mets with one of the best overall catcher seasons in recent franchise history. But if we look back to homer production since 2000, here’s what the top of the leaderboard looks like:

  1. Mike Piazza, 2000: 38 Home Runs
  2. Mike Piazza, 2001: 36
  3. Mike Piazza, 2002: 33
  4. Mike Piazza, 2004: 20
  5. Francisco Alvarez, 2023: 19 (so far)
  6. Mike Piazza, 2005: 19
  7. Travis d’Arnaud, 2017: 16
  8. John Buck, 2013: 15
  9. Wilson Ramos, 2019: 14
  10. Travis d’Arnaud, 2014: 13

Once again, the pace at which Alvarez has accomplished this is worth repeating. He’s accumulated just 238 plate appearances thus far. Outside of Travis d’Arnaud in 2017 (376 plate appearances), none of the other top-10 performances happened in fewer than 400 trips to the plate.

You can see his confidence level continue to grow with each moonshot he launches, too. When asked after Tuesday’s game if he expected to contribute this much so quickly, he had the best possible response: Why not?

This is exactly the kind of swagger the Mets need if they want to have any hope of crawling back into the postseason picture. Even if they don’t, it’s nice to see that they finally have a young stud at catcher for the foreseeable future.

You can reach Matt Musico at 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.