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On a Houston Astros lineup stacked with sluggers, it’s a 22-year-old rookie who has emerged as quite possibly the team’s most intimidating bat.
A similar thing happened on the 2001 St. Louis Cardinals, when a lineup featuring Mark McGwire, Jim Edmonds and J.D. Drew ended the season with a 21-year-old Albert Pujols batting cleanup.
Think that’s a big jump to make? Well, turns out Alvarez is the only rookie to match Pujols when it comes driving in runs during the start of his career.
Alvarez tied the record with another towering home run, his 11th in 131 career plate appearances as of Monday’s game. This one was a 410-foot no-doubter to right-center field to open the scoring of an Astros blowout.
A few innings later, he doubled to take sole possession of the record.
This is not the first history Alvarez has made in his short career, as his four home runs in his first five games matched an MLB record. He also sent the Astros distance record for a home run measured by Statcast last week.
Through his first 30 career games, Alvarez is hitting an absurd .342/.417/.709. Similar to Pujols, he had hit cleanup in the Astros’ last four games entering Monday.
The Cuban slugger was considered a premier prospect as a 6-foot-5, 225-pound power bat that could hit enough to make up for defensive shortcomings, but it seems safe to say no one expected this kind of output from him so early.
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