Port St. Lucy – Francisco Alvarez’s racket will ultimately be the biggest factor in his ascent through the Mets’ farm system, but the organization would also like to see 20-year-old Musk strides behind the board.
“His defense has evolved the way we thought it would be, and yet there are places he needs to develop,” Mets director of player development Kevin Howard said Monday. “In terms of his age and what’s expected he’s way ahead of the schedule with all his defence.”
Howard was asked what specifically Alvarez needs to improve on.
“I really think the whole thing is,” Howard said. “Obviously the ban is in there and the receipt on the side of his arm is the main thing we try to clean up, he lost a few hits. But everything is above a kid compared to his age when you look at the industry and pick it up.”
He greeted 24 times in 99 games last season between Low-A St. Lucie and High-A Brooklyn – last week that his goal is to play in the major leagues this season.
“That should be everyone’s goal,” Howard said. “Trying to get there and that’s your goal, then anticipating it and responding when it doesn’t happen, those are two different things. I think Francisco is very realistic about what can actually happen and I think he will only control the things he can control.”
Brett Bate and Marc Ventus are expected to play on the field once a week to start the season as the Mets evaluate both third base in other locations. Ventus finished last season at Triple A Syracuse and Patty at Double A Binghamton. Both players took representatives on the field last season.
Howard, who became assistant hitting coach for the Mets in May after joining the organization to work in player development, said he was happy to be back in the role he was assigned to.
“I think we all contribute for the organization and any way we can help and I think that’s what we’ve been trying to do last year,” Howard said. “I think I’m a better fit for this role. I think it’s the job that I have the most interest in from my previous experiences and the kind of things I’ve been through in the past have led me here and I feel like that’s where I’m supposed to be.”