Mets' Tomas Nido calls Francisco Alvarez 'the real deal,' is excited to catch Justin Verlander
Mets catcher Tomas Nido will split time with newly acquired Omar Narvaez behind the plate this upcoming season, but that doesn’t mean catching prospect Francisco Alvarez isn’t far off.
Speaking with SNY’s Eamon McAnaney on Wednesday, the 28-year-old backstop called Alvarez "the real deal” and is excited to see what he can do this season and beyond.
“He’s super young and one thing I told him, ‘everyone knows you can hit, you can hit the ball a mile, you want to take pride in your catching,’” Nido said. “There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that he’s going to be a stud. I’m really happy for him and excited that he was able to come to New York last season.”
In just 12 at-bats at the major league level, Alvarez went 2-for-12 with one home run and three runs. But in the minors, the 21-year-old hit .260 with 27 home runs and 78 RBI between Double-A and Triple-A.
Nido said he spoke to Alvarez recently in Port St. Lucie, where Mets spring training takes place, and that he’s excited for the upcoming year.
“I think the world of [Alvarez] and I think he’s going to be really good,” Nido said. “When he’s ready, it’s going to be what everyone expects.”
Nido, who signed a two-year, $3.7 million contract extension with the Mets earlier this month, had a career season with New York. In 284 at-bats, Nido hit .239 with three home runs and 28 RBI while playing the bulk of the games while James McCann -- who was traded in the offseason -- dealt with injuries.
“I’m very happy, very excited to be here for the next two years,” Nido said of his new contract. “Hopefully it’s just the beginning of a longer relationship. Been with the Mets my whole career and I feel we have something special.”
He’ll now be tasked, along with Narvaez, to call games for a starting rotation that is headlined by Max Scherzer and newly acquired starter Justin Verlander.
Nido has seen Verlander pitch while on the opposing side, but he’s excited to get to know and catch for him.
“He’s very similar to Scherzer. He has the veteran presence and leadership. Just watching just the way he goes about his business. You can tell why they’ve been so successful,” he said. “When I look at video of what he does, you get why he’s been so good. Even at his age, he’s on a roll. He’s coming here in a winning environment with the city behind him. It’s going to be fun. I’m very excited to get to be back there for him.”
Pitchers and catchers will begin to meet the week of Feb. 13 and the official Mets preseason begins as the Amazin's pursuit of a World Series continues.