Francisco Alvarez makes his case for the postseason roster

The Mets’ top prospect and one of the highest ranked in baseball is billed as a power-hitting catcher, quite possibly one of the best since Mike Piazza.

After failing to get in a hit in his first three big league games, he displayed that power Tuesday night when he blasted his first home run and later hit a deep double to record his first two hits at the MLB level.

Inserted as a pinch-hitter after the team learned that the Atlanta Braves had clinched the NL East, Alvarez took Washington Nationals right-hander Carl Edwards Jr. back 439 feet. His double also came off of a right-hander, Erasmo Ramirez, which is important to note since the Mets called him up mostly to face left-handed pitching. Alvarez did not face a right-hander in his first four games, but he was able to hit two very effective righties in his fourth game.

“It felt good, obviously because it was my first hit, but for it to go out the way it did, made me really happy and excited,” Alvarez said through a translator.

Just 20 years old, the Venezuelan made his debut last Friday as the DH at Truist Park in Atlanta in the heat of a divisional race against the Braves. It was a big moment in a big series. You can’t fault him for not delivering since nearly as a group the team failed to deliver, but there were times when the situation looked a little too big for an unproven rookie.

But the experience proved beneficial, as he adjusted to the pace and the crowd over the weekend and settled in once at home in the confines of Citi Field.

“It seemed like he was a little calmer,” manager Buck Showalter said. “It’s hard. He’s had a lot of emotions flying around and little by little things have calmed down. He’s seeing the ball better and little by little he’s getting on some pitches that he had been swinging at. He’s got a lot of bat speed.” He was able to slow the game down and felt at ease with home plate umpire Angel Hernandez.

“I felt really good, I felt comfortable,” Alvarez said. “The home plate umpire spoke Spanish, the Nationals have a bunch of Latino players. So I felt really good in that situation.”

So, what happens now? Do two big hits warrant a postseason roster spot? Should he be behind the plate in the playoffs?

It’s worth consideration. With a .918 OPS over the last 28 days, Tomas Nido should be the Mets’ primary catcher in the playoffs. But James McCann has had a disappointing season and a disappointing month, hitting just .174.

The Mets have received very little production at the DH position and Darren Ruff, who was acquired to hit left-handed pitching, is injured and was ineffective when healthy.

There could be an argument to make against carrying him with the stakes so high, but if he’s left off the playoff roster for the Mets’ wild card series against the San Diego Padres this weekend, then you have to wonder why the Mets even brought him up at all.