There is a cartoon-superhero aura to the teenager the Mets call “Troll.”
Francisco Alvarez is always smiling. The grin has been painted on for 19 years and counting, even when there was less to smile about. Nowadays, he beams through dings behind the plate, through the bus rides and frustrating grind of a minor league season, through growing into a superstar catching prospect who wants to reach the majors already, but had to settle for tearing up Class-A for 15 games and High-A ball for 84 contests in 2021.
“If I’m in a bad mood, then they’re going to be in a bad mood,” Alvarez explained simply. “My happiness spreads around the dugout.”
With the Brooklyn Cyclones this year, his round cheeks reminded onlookers that he is a teenager, and his large arms and body reminded of his massive potential. Among kids desperate to fill out to add power to their game, Alvarez literally sticks out. Usually a top-10 prospect needs a glove or bat or ball in his hand to announce himself, but those aren’t necessary for the 5-foot-10 Alvarez, who is heftier than the 233 pounds he is listed at.