The Mets have added two of their top prospects to their 60-man player pool, as the team announced that catcher Francisco Alvarez and right-hander Matthew Allan will head to the alternate training site in Brooklyn.
Joining the player pool allows Alvarez and Allan to be eligible for a big league call-up, though such a promotion would seem a bit unlikely given how both players only began their pro careers last season. Alvarez appeared in 42 games in rookie ball in 2019, while Allan pitched just 10 1/3 innings in rookie ball before making one appearance for the Mets’ lower A-ball affiliate.
It should be noted that being added to the player pool also makes Alvarez and Allan eligible to be traded prior to the August 31 deadline. However, The Athletic’s Tim Britton tweets that the Mets “aren’t looking to move” either prospect, and that today’s transaction was only made help the two youngsters continue their development.
Alvarez was rated as a top-100 prospect in preseason rankings from The Athletic’s Keith Law (who had Alvarez 48th), MLB.com (63rd), Baseball America (67th), and Baseball Prospectus (88th). Signed to a $2.7MM bonus during the 2018-19 international signing window, Law praised Alvarez’s well-rounded hitting potential and described his swing as “arguably the best in the Mets’ system.” Defensively, Alvarez is unsurprisingly a little raw considering he is only 18 years old, though MLB.com’s scouting report cited his athleticism, “accurate, plus arm strength” and “energy level and willingness to learn” as reasons why Alvarez could eventually become at least an average defender behind the plate.
A third-round pick in the 2019 draft, Allan was heavily targeted by the Mets, who signed several other picks to underslot deals to free up enough pool money for a $2.5MM bonus for the righty. The strategy paid off, as Allan opted to join the Mets rather than pitch at the University Of Florida. Allan already boasts a strong fastball (in the mid-90’s range) and curveball, and is widely seen as a future rotation member, perhaps even a front-of-the-rotation type if all goes well.