With Major League debuts from the likes of Vlad Guerrero Jr., Eloy Jiménez and Pete Alonso this season, it’s quite alright if baseball fans outside of Houston aren’t too familiar with the name Yordan Alvarez.
The 21-year-old from Cuba will likely remedy that real quick.
Shortly after the Astros called up MLB’s 23rd-best prospect on Sunday, Alvarez effortlessly crushed his first career home run, taking Baltimore’s Dylan Bundy deep to left center in his second at-bat Major League at-bat.
That went 413 feet with an exit velocity of 106.9 miles per hour. As Houston General Manager Jeff Luhnow put it in a tweet this morning — calling up Alvarez is akin activating the Astros’ Death Star.
Alvarez demolished pitchers in Triple-A and then some. In 213 at-bats, he slashed a ridiculous .343/.443/.742 with a minor-league leading 23 home runs. At 6-5, 225 pounds, he’s bigger than both Jiménez and Vlad Jr. and has the power to back it up.
Yordan Alvarez is a run-producing machine.
The #Astros No. 3 prospect hit this three-run homer, his 15th, for @RRExpress and has now driven in 47 runs in 33 games this year.
Here's how all Top 100 prospects are performing today: https://t.co/Ou6GPiBTFJ pic.twitter.com/eWLmHiNl4G
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 12, 2019
The backstory to Alvarez’s arrival in Houston is just as entertaining as his swing.
Originally signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers in June 2016 as an 18-year-old, Alvarez was shipped to the Astros in a trade deadline deal for reliever Josh Fields just a month later. The deal not only netted another massive bat for an organization stocked with them, but proved fortuitous in the 2017 World Series showdown between the Dodgers and Astros. Fields would enter Game 2 in the 10th inning and promptly give up back-to-back home runs to Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa to help Houston even the series on the road.
This is a debut worth watching.
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