One of the Astros’ top prospects is making some noise early in the 2019 season.
The Astros were in the midst of a disappointing 2016 campaign when they decided to trade right-handed reliever Josh Fields to the Dodgers in early August that year. Fields, who was demoted to the minors in mid-May 2016, had a 6.89 ERA in 15 2/3 innings for Houston. At the same time, he did have decent strikeout numbers and his 2.83 FIP indicated better performance was coming.
Enough about Fields, though. The trade from this perspective of a Houston fan is solely focused on the acquisition, Yordan Alvarez. And mercy, does it look like the Astros may have something special with him.
Generally considered the Astros’ third-best heading into the season, Alvarez has set the world on fire to start his 2019 season. Through 51 plate appearances, the left-handed hitter has hit .300/.451/.875 with seven home runs and an ungodly 204 wRC+. Alvarez has also posted a 19.6 percent walk rate and a 17.6 percent strikeout rate. All impressive numbers for a 21-year old in Triple-A.
Thanks to his hot start, there have been discussions among fans about how soon we will see Alvarez in the majors. This kind of talk has also been amplified due to Tyler White’s struggles to start the season (96 wRC+ in 35 plate appearances). It is still too early, though, to make any sort of declaration. Alvarez looks ready now, but he may need some more time in the minors. More of a track record would be preferable. White has more of a proven track record at the major league level despite his slow start. Unless White’s struggles continue for a while, I don’t foresee a change anytime soon.