METS ANNOUNCE 2021 MINOR LEAGUE AWARDS

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METS ANNOUNCE 2021 MINOR LEAGUE AWARDS

FLUSHING, N.Y., September 27, 2021 – The New York Mets today announced that catcher Francisco Álvarez was named the organization’s 2021 Minor League Player of the Year and RHP Adam Oller named Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Infielder Kevin Villavicencio was named the Mets top position player in the Dominican Summer League and RHP Joel Díaz was tabbed as the Mets best pitcher in the DSL.

Additionally, Matt Hunter, the Mets minor league medical coordinator, and Kyle Driscoll, the Mets minor league pitching movement and rehabilitation coordinator were named Mets Minor League Development Staff Members of the Year.

MINOR LEAGUE POSITION PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Francisco Álvarez (C)

Height: 5-10

Weight: 233

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

Born: 11/19/01

Obtained/Scout: Signed as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2018

Álvarez began the season with the St. Lucie Mets (A) and batted .417 (20-48) with 12 runs scored, five doubles, two home runs, 12 RBI, 15 walks and a 1.213 OPS in 15 games before being promoted to High-A Brooklyn, where he spent the remainder of the season. With the Cyclones, the 19-year-old catcher had a record-breaking season establishing a new-franchise high mark with 22 home runs, which also ranked tied for fourth in the High-A East division. Álvarez also ranked third in slugging (.538), fifth in OPS (.889) and 10th in on-base percentage among all High-A East players. The Venezuela native led all Mets minor leaguers in RBI (70), extra-base hits (43), and slugging (.538) and tied for the organization lead with 24 home runs.

Álvarez was selected to participate in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Coors Field this season, where he socked a pinch-hit home run. Ranked the top prospect in the Mets organization and the No. 10 overall prospect in the majors by MLB Pipeline, Álvarez also had nine of the 22 hardest hit balls – all over 108.7 MPH – during the 2021 season among Brooklyn Cyclones players. Defensively, Álvarez threw out 26.9 percent (14 of 52) of would-be base stealers from July 1through the end of the season.

MINOR LEAGUE PITCHER OF THE YEAR: RHP Adam Oller

Height: 6-4

Weight: 225

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

Born: 10/17/94

Obtained/Scout: Selected in the minor league phase of theRule 5 draft on December 12, 2019 from San Francisco.

Oller, 26, leads all Mets minor leaguers with 133 strikeouts in his first season with the Mets organization. The right-hander from Conroe, TX, has made 22 starts this season, posting a 9-4 record with a 3.31 ERA (42 earned runs/114.1 innings) while holding opposing batters to .213 batting average and averaging 10.5 strikeouts per 9.0 innings splitting the season between Binghamton (AA) and Syracuse (AAA).

In 15 starts with Binghamton, Oller went 5-3 with a 4.03 ERA (42 earned runs/76.0 innings) and led the team with 95 strikeouts. Oller allowed three runs or fewer and struck out at least six batters in each of his final six starts with Binghamton. Since his promotion to Triple-A on August 10, the right-hander has gone 4-1 with a 1.88 ERA (eight earned runs/38.1 innings) in seven starts. Oller has allowed two runs or fewer in six of his seven outings at Triple-A. He threw 6.2 shutout frames and whiffed 13 batters in his first career start at the Triple-A level in his Syracuse debut, capping a span of three starts with at least 10 strikeouts.

DOMINICAN ACADEMY POSITION PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Kevin Villavicencio (INF)

Height: 5-10

Weight: 175

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

Born: 11/24/03

Obtained: Signed as a non-drafted free agent on January 15, 2021

Villavicencio, 17, has put together a .304/.377/.428 slashline in the DSL in his first professional season. With the DSL Mets1, Villavicencio led the team in hits (42), runs (23), extra-base hits (14), and RBI (17). During the month of August, the shortstop posted a slashline of .340/.364/.472. On September 24, the shortstop launched his first career professional home run.

DOMINICAN ACADEMY PITCHER OF THE YEAR: RHP Joel Díaz

Height: 6-2

Weight: 200

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

Born: 2/26/04

Obtained: Signed as a non-drafted free agent on January 15, 2021

Díaz, 17, signed with the Mets in the winter and instantly emerged as one of the top arms in the DSL for New York. The Dominican right-hander did not allow an earned run in his first 10 professional starts, allowing no more than three hits in each of those starts (31.0 innings). Overall, Diaz has struck out 59 batters in 46.1 innings of work and has a DSL-leading 0.58 ERA (three earned runs/46.1 innings). Díaz is tied for third with a 0.78 WHIP and sixth with a .165 opponents’ batting average.

METS PLAYER DEVELOPMENT STAFF MEMBERS OF THE YEAR: Matt Hunter & Kyle Driscoll

Matt Hunter has spent 17 seasons with New York Mets organization and has served as the minor league medical coordinator for the past four seasons. Prior to becoming the Mets’ minor league medical coordinator, Hunter had served as the athletic trainer for several of the Mets’ minor league clubs.

Kyle Driscoll is in his second season with the New York Mets organization as the minor league pitching movement and rehabilitation coordinator. Prior to joining the Mets, Driscoll worked at Cressey Sports Performance as a pitching coach and strength coach from 2018-2019. Driscoll pitched four years at Rutgers University compiling 124 strikeouts in 135.1 innings.

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