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Francisco Alvarez Has The Right Hitting Approach



Catcher Francisco Alvarez’s participation in the Australian Baseball League this offseason figures to expose the 19-year-old to his first advanced competition as a professional.

Mets officials are excited to see how he handles the assignment.

“He is going to be around some older guys, which is always beneficial for the player if he is ready for that. And I think in his case he is,” Mets assistant general manager Allard Baird said.

“For a catcher, especially, playing with older guys, when you have got an older pitcher on the mound who has been around a little bit, you really are forced to work with him and get the most out of him.”

Alvarez signed out of Venezuela for $2.9 million in 2018 and is highly regarded for his bat and plate discipline. With the minor league season canceled this year, Alvarez was among the prospects the Mets brought to their alternate training site in Brooklyn.

In 42 games for two Rookie-level teams in 2019, he hit .312/.407/.510 with seven home runs and 26 RBIs. He spent most of the season in the Appalachian League.

“For a young kid, he’s always displayed a good command of the strike zone,” Baird said. “He’s got a very good approach in terms of it’s, ‘Yes, yes, yes, no, take.’

"He goes in there to hit. He’s not going in there to walk. He’s going in there with a very good, aggressive approach, but has the ability to make early recognition and if he doesn’t get his pitch will accept the walk.”

Behind the plate, Baird is pleased with Alvarez’s arm strength and work ethic, along with a drive to succeed.

“He’s started to mature,” Baird said. “He was hard on himself last year. If he dropped the ball behind the plate, or didn’t get a big hit with runners in scoring position, he really beat himself up. I think that natural growth has been seen just in the last year.”

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