On Monday, left-hander Dario Alvarez was named the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week, the second time this season he’s copped that honor.
The 25-year-old Dominican native has not allowed an earned run in his last 22 innings pitched, spanning seven appearances.
For the season, Alvarez has posted a 0.87 ERA and 0.981 WHIP in 16 appearances which includes six starts.
Alvarez, who was initially signed by Philadelphia in 2007, has been nothing short of remarkable since the Mets signed him in 2013 on the advice of their Dominican scouts who spotted him playing Winter Ball in Venezuela.
He made 12 starts for Short-Season Brooklyn in 2013, going 2-4 with a 3.10 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 58 innings. But it was his work with pitching coach Marc Valdes last summer, that would transform Alvarez into the pitcher he is today.
Valdes worked with Alvarez on improving the consistency of his delivery without sacrificing any of his stuff or the deception of how he throws.
“That slider, it looks like it’s going to stay in one area, one zone, and then it just disappears. It cuts down hard and away to his glove side. When he stays behind it and gets on top of it, gets that elbow up, it’s pretty crisp.”
“He’s a little better than he was last year,” Valdes said. “He’s made some strides mechanically.”
The results are hard to argue with, Alvarez has worked out of the bullpen and the rotation for the Sand Gnats, but his effectiveness has been a constant in both roles.
In 52.0 overall innings, he’s allowed just 38 hits and 12 walks while striking out 86 batters – that’s the second most among all Mets minor leaguers. His 14.9 strikeout per nine-innings rate is among the best in the league and he does that while maintaining an impressive 2.2 walk rate.
Look for Alvarez to make his way to Advanced-A St. Lucie any day now.