The New York Mets announced on Tuesday evening that catcher Francisco Álvarez underwent “surgery that addressed cartilage damage resulting from the preexisting loose body” in his right ankle. The Mets expect him to be ready for spring training.
Álvarez, who will celebrate his 21st birthday on Nov. 19, split most of his year between Double- and Triple-A. He batted .260/.374/.511 with 27 home runs in 495 plate appearances. The Mets brought him to the majors late in the season with an eye on using him as a source of right-handed power, and he appeared in five regular-season games plus a playoff game. Álvarez went 2 for 12 with a home run and two walks, as well as five strikeouts in 15 combined plate appearances.
Álvarez is the most promising youngster in the Mets organization. Here’s what we wrote about him back in September:
Put simply, Álvarez is one of the best prospects in the game for a reason: he has big-time raw power and he’s improved enough behind the plate to stay there.
Besides, Álvarez is a 20-year-old catcher who had split the season between Double- and Triple-A. In 112 contests, he had batted .260/.374/.511 with 27 home runs and 22 doubles. Those marks were impressive on their own, and fantastic when you consider his position and the fact he was more than three years younger than his average foe.
The Mets struggled to get production out of either James McCann or Tomás Nido at catcher this season, and it reasons that they’ll provide Álvarez with the opportunity to take the backstop job as his own at some point next season. It’s unclear if this operation will cause the Mets to push back his timeline.