One of the top prospects in the Mets' farm system is now officially on the national radar.
Francisco Alvarez -- the No. 5 overall prospect and No. 1 catcher in New York's organization, according to MLB Pipeline's 2019 Prospect Watch -- cracked Baseball America's updated list of top 100 prospects Friday.
"The Mets' top international signing last year, Alvarez's defense and power improved dramatically in his first year of pro ball and have turned him into one of the most promising all-around young catchers in the minors," Baseball America said.
Alvarez, who turns 18 as of Nov. 19, signed with the Mets for $2.7 million in July 2018. From Guatire, Venezuela, Alvarez's 2019 season featured a quick stint in the Gulf Coast League before he made his move to Rookie level Kingsport.
Between both stops, Alvarez caught on quickly.
He first tore up the GCL with his .462/.548/.846 slash line, going 12 for 26 with four doubles and two home runs and 10 RBI in seven games. Alvarez cooled off but stayed strong at Kingsport, slashing .282/.377/.433 with five home runs and 16 RBI in 35 games.
Do the math on the splits and Alvarez slashed .312/.407/.510 with seven home runs and 26 RBI in 42 games.
A stocky figure at 5-foot-11 and 220 pounds, Alvarez's MLB.com scouting report initially expressed concern over his figure. But the Mets have remained high on the fast-rising catcher.
"A compact swing and solid approach allow Alvarez to hit to all fields, and he has plenty of raw power to continue to tap into," said Alvarez's scouting report on MLB.com. "He's a below-average runner, but also isn't a base-clogger. Alvarez's defensive game is behind his bat, but club officials have zero doubt that he can stay behind the plate long term. He has a strong arm and some solid actions behind the plate, but he'll have to improve his overall receiving.
"That Alvarez has a thicker build and is already very strong for his age does lead to some concerns about his body, and he likely will have to watch his conditioning. The Mets don't believe that will be an issue, though, as Alvarez earns high marks for his willingness to learn and make adjustments. They will be extremely patient with their young backstop, giving him all the time he needs to develop and achieve his upside of an above-average big league catcher."