How Francisco Alvarez has made Mets pitching staff better: Love this kid

The Francisco Alvarez Effect has been real.The Mets are 29-13 in games in which their precocious young catcher plays and 17-32 without him.Sure, the upgrade with the bat — his .852 OPS began play Wednesday as third-best among catchers with at least 100 plate appearances — has been significant.

But Alvarez’s influence on the pitching staff has been nearly as stark.Consider the fact that with Alvarez squatting behind home plate, Mets pitchers brought a 3.25 ERA into the Mets’ 6-2 win over the Nationals at Citi Field.The Mets’ team ERA entered play an entire run higher — 4.25 — and only four primary catchers in all of MLB brought better marks than Alvarez’s into play (Atlanta’s Sean Murphy at 2.55, Philadelphia’s J.T.

Realmuto at 2.86, Boston’s Reese McGuire at 3.01 and Seattle’s Cal Raleigh at 3.25).It is not just that the 22-year-old is growing into a star with his bat.A second-year ball of energy has emerged as a defensive difference-maker in the most demanding position in the game while working with a predominantly veteran staff.“Alvy is amazing,” Jose Quintana said after partnering with Alvarez during Tuesday’s win.

“I love this kid.”Quintana’s ERA when throwing to Alvarez: 1.76.Quintana’s ERA throwing to anyone else: 5.86.He’s not alone.

Sean Manaea’s ERA when throwing to Alvarez: 1.33.Manaea throwing to anyone else: 5.17.Manaea pointed to Alvarez’s boisterous personality as a trait that separates him.“He’s very outgoing and outspoken and kind of has those leadership qualities,” said Manaea, a nine-year veteran.

“I know he’s very young, but you can sense that he’s just very confident in his work, and you see that in his [preparation].“For me, from my perspective, there’s no reason not to trust him.”Adrian Houser’s ERA with Alvarez: 2.50.Houser’s ERA with anyone else: 6.89.It only took a couple spring training outings for the first-year Met to realize he would enjoy working with Alvarez who he...

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Publisher: New York Post

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