With just eight days to go until Opening Day, the New York Mets optioned top prospect Francisco Álvarez to Triple-A Syracuse.
Álvarez was competing with catchers Omar Narváez and Tomas Nido for a spot on the 26-man roster, but his offensive struggles hurt him. He hit just .107/.194/.107 in 14 spring training games.
The 21-year-old hit .260/.374/.511 with 27 home runs in 112 minor league games split between Double-A and Triple-A last season. He made his MLB debut late last season, going 2-for-12 (.167) with a double and a home run in five games.
Now that he has been optioned down, Álvarez must spend the first 10 days of the regular season in the minors before he can be recalled unless he replaces an injured player.