MMN 2019 Top 50 Prospects: 14, Francisco Alvarez Receives Record Bonus

By Daniel Muras

February 6, 2019 No comments

Francisco Alvarez/Photo by Baseball America

Francisco Alvarez

Pos: C     B/T: R/R      Age: 11/19/2001 (17)
Acquired: International Free Agent from Venezuela on July 2, 2018
Previous Ranking: 25
Stats: Did not play

For the second straight year, the Mets had a big international free agent signing period. Just one year after giving shortstop prospect Ronny Mauricio a franchise record $2.1 million bonus, the Mets set a new record by signing Francisco Alvarez for $2.7 million.

There was a lot of hype around Alvarez as July 2 approached. The young catcher was universally regarded as a top 15 international prospect in 2018 –  Baseball America (Ninth), Fangraphs (10th), and (15th). He was also considered to be the second best catcher in the class. Scouts praised his ability to hit with Fangraphs’ projected  future hit tool tied for the best in the class partially due to his already impressive power. At 5’11”, 220 pounds, Alvarez is already quite physically mature, and he might not grow into much more raw power. However, his hitting profile is easily impressive enough to see a future starting-caliber player at catcher.

Alvarez’s defense is generally considered to be behind his offense, but he is projected to stay behind the plate long term. Despite his stocky build, Alvarez has good athleticism and a strong throwing arm, although his movement behind the plate and framing need improvement. Still, these are fairly minor issues considering Alvarez is still just 17-years old and has never actually played in a professional game.

While they had been fairly conservative in recent years with their international prospects, the Mets took a more aggressive approach last season, starting Mauricio stateside, while also promoting Junior Santos and Stanley Consuegra to the Gulf Coast League in their debut seasons. With Alvarez’s already impressive and advanced hitting ability, it will be interesting to see where the Mets opt to have him begin his professional career.

Despite not having a ton of flashy tools yet, Alvarez is an advanced and fairly low-risk prospect for someone his age. Despite not playing in a single professional game, Baseball America has already rated Alvarez as the 28th best catching prospect in the minors. He should hit plenty and have enough defense to remain high on Mets top prospects lists and potentially crack a few top 100 lists down the road. Alvarez has a long journey ahead of him to get to the major leagues, but there is every reason to believe that he is up to the task.

Editor’s Note: Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn, Luis Santana, Ross Adolph, Bobby Wahl, Adam Hill, Gerson Bautista and Felix Valerio were all in our original Top 50 before they were traded.

Previous Rankings

50-46 Led by Michael Paez
45-41 Led by Ranfy Adon
Led by Anthony Dirocie
Led by Ryley Gilliam
30-26 Led by Chris Viall
25 Carlos Cortes
24 Ali Sanchez
23 Eric Hanhold

22 Luis Carpio
21 Freddy Valdez
20 Walker Lockett
19 Junior Santos
18 Gavin Cecchini
17 Jordan Humphreys
16 Christian James
15 Tony Dibrell