MAJORING ON THE MINORS: TOP 30 PROSPECTS – #17 DARIO ALVAREZ - VOL.14 – Tom Brennan
I’m doing my Top 30 Prospects articles a bit differently – in 2 lists:
· A top 10 list of lower minors guys who likely won’t show up until 2017 or later. Already done. See list at end of this article.
· Followed by my top 20 list of guys who are closing in on the big leagues. Guys who could help in the near future or be trade bait.
Here is the list so far:
20. Daniel Muno
19. Michael Fulmer
18. Miller Diaz
Today, selection #17: Dario Alvarez
Dario has likely run the strangest gauntlet of anyone in my top 30 Prospects List.
Alvarez was picked up by the Mets in 2013 three years after released by his former organization. Huh? Then, he sputtered as a 24 year old at the start of 2013 in Brooklyn for 5 starts, allowing 17 runs in 23 innings.
Then he had a “Say WHAT?” moment on July 24, 2013, when he tossed 6 one hit shutout innings and K’d 12. We got something here?
But the fog rolled back in and he surrendered 8 runs in his next 2 starts over 7 innings. Maybe not.
But then the fog dissipated altogether. Last 4 starts of 2013: 2 runs and 20 Ks in 22 innings. Showing a decent pulse going into 2014.
The Mets probably figured they might just have something there. In 2014, they found out they did. Alvarez joined Akeel Morris as the deadliest bullpen duo in the S. Atlantic middle A-ball league. How does Alvarez going 7-1, 1.32 with 95 Ks in 61 innings in Savannah sound? Sounds like an arriving jumbo jet to me.
Yeah, but promote him and reality would have to set in, right? Not so. He jumps to High A, then AA, and in 12 innings, gives up 5 hits, no runs, and K’s 19, driving his season K total in the minors to 114 in 73 innings, 14 Ks per 9, for you Math majors.
So, after just a handful of good starts in 2013, then going just one notch above rookie ball to start 2014, he vaults all the way to the Mets for a 1.1 inning cup of September Java. A remarkable surge to the top.
The 6’1”, 170 southpaw gets into the low 90’s with his heater, with a reputed fine slider. Lefties suffered against him at .194, but Dario baffled righties too (.193). Almost half his lefty outs were by K - dominance to make one think he could be a true LOOGY. And he walked just 17 of the 292 minor leaguers he faced in 2014.
At his age, he needed to cover a ton of ground to stay ahead of Father Time in 2014. Mission accomplished.
I’d have him ranked higher if he had more innings above mid-A ball than he does. But I am not sure he was in anyone’s Met top 100 coming into 2014, so he made up as much ground as humanly possible in 2014.
Hey but 2014 is history. Is there more in store in 2015, now that he is turning 26 in January 2015? Will he be a Mets pen lefty as the season opens? Or return to the minors and falter? It will be fascinating to watch. Whaddya think?
Good luck in 2015, Dario.
MY TOP 10 LOWER MINORS LIST:
# 1 - Marcos Molina
#2 – Michael Conforto
#3 – Amed Rosario
#4 – Dominic Smith
#5 - Jhoan Urena
#6 – Vicente Lupo
#7 – Wuilmer Becerra
#8 – Luis Guillorme
#9 - Casey Meisner
#10 - Milton Ramos