NEW YORK (AP) — The first-place New York Mets are calling up top prospect Francisco Álvarez for their pivotal weekend series against the Atlanta Braves, according to a person familiar with the decision.
The person confirmed the move to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday night because the Mets had not yet announced the transaction.
The 20-year-old Álvarez is rated the No. 1 overall prospect in baseball by MLB.com, which reported his promotion earlier. He batted .260 with 27 home runs, 78 RBIs and an .885 OPS combined at Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Syracuse this season.
New York leads the NL East by one game over the defending World Series champion Braves heading into their three-game series in Atlanta that begins Friday night. Both teams are headed to the playoffs and have six games remaining in the regular season.
The division winner earns a first-round bye, while the second-place finisher will be the top NL wild card and host a best-of-three postseason series starting Oct. 7.
Álvarez, a catcher and right-handed hitter, figures to be used as the Mets’ designated hitter against left-handed pitching — including Friday’s scheduled Braves starter, Max Fried.
New York has received little production from right-handed hitters Darin Ruf and rookie Mark Vientos at DH since sending J.D. Davis to San Francisco at the Aug. 2 trade deadline.
Left-handed hitter Daniel Vogelbach is New York’s regular DH against right-handers.
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