Astros Minor League Spotlight: Yordan Alvarez

MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Yordan Alvarez #43 of the Houston Astros and the World Team slides in safely past Zack Collins #8 of the Chicago White Sox and the U.S. Team during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Marlins Park on July 9, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Yordan Alvarez #43 of the Houston Astros and the World Team slides in safely past Zack Collins #8 of the Chicago White Sox and the U.S. Team during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Marlins Park on July 9, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Time to shine a spotlight on Houston Astros‘ Triple-A affiliate Fresno Grizzlies outfielder Yordan Alvarez.

As one of the organization’s top prospects, Yordan Alvarez is already a familiar name to many fans. MLB.com ranked him third in the system, behind only Kyle Tucker and Forrest Whitley. The 21-year-old slugger, fresh off a promotion to Triple-A Fresno, is the subject of this week’s spotlight.

The Scouting Report

The Astros acquired Alvarez in the August 2016 trade that sent Josh Fields to the Dodgers. Since then, he’s blossomed into a top prospect. MLB.com notes his “quiet and compact left-handed swing” despite his 6’5″ stature. He profiles as a hitter who’ll hit for a high average and good power.

He may possess just average speed, and defense remains a question. He lacks a defined position, having spent time at first base and the corner outfield. It’s doubtful he’ll end up a strong defender at either position, meaning he could have a future as a regular DH. But if his bat produces like it’s capable of, it’ll more than make up for any deficiencies in the field.

The Stats

Following the trade, Alvarez promptly hit .341/.474/.500 in 16 Rookie League games. In 2017, he slashed .304/.379/.481 across two Class-A stops, chipping in 12 homers in 90 games. He hit .325/.389/.615 in 43 Double-A games this season before his call-up, also popping 12 homers.

He’s gotten off to a slow start in Triple-A, slashing .172/.200/.414 in his first eight games. Overall, he’s posted a .900 OPS across his minor league career, offering a tantalizing glimpse at what could become an impact Major League bat.

The Outlook

How quickly Alvarez ascends to the majors will depend on how he acclimates to Triple-A. He could find himself as a September call-up, but likely won’t have a regular role this season barring an injury.

Next: Astros: Bullpen help is top priority

If he mashes Triple-A pitching, however, he could earn himself a spot on the 2019 roster. Evan Gattis and Yuli Gurriel, while useful, are not long-term answers at their positions. A strong run in Fresno could force the Astros to move Gattis or Gurriel after the season to make room for Alvarez. Stay tuned.

facebooktwitterreddit