Astros’ prospect Yordan Alvarez is having a phenomenal season and an impressive four years in the minors, but not Vladimir Guerrero Jr. type attention. Why?
Alvarez is the Houston Astros‘ #3 prospect and has been living under the shadows of Forrest Whitley and Kyle Tucker. But he has been tearing it up so far this year for the AAA Round Rock Express. In fact, he has outperformed Guerrero this season and they have very similar numbers over their four-year careers in the minors.
So why is Vladimir Guerrero Jr. getting all the hype? If he didn’t have a famous father with the same name, would he still be getting all the headlines? I’d be willing to bet your average baseball fan, outside of the Houston Astros’ fan base, hasn’t even heard of Alvarez. Let’s take a look at the careers of both players side-by-side and see how they measure up.
Alvarez is on fire in the first month of this young season down on the AAA farm. He’s currently carrying a lofty slash line of .361/.459/.903 with an unbelievable 1.362 OPS. He is tied for the league lead with 11 home runs and has 29 RBIs and 20 runs scored.
Guerrero’s slash line in the minors this year was .333/.400/.578 with an OPS of .978, and four of those games were with the A+ club before moving over to the AAA level. Between both clubs, he had three home runs, nine RBIs and nine runs.
Over Alvarez’s four-year career with the Astros’ system, he has slashed .307/.388/.543 and has a .931 OPS. He has accumulated 44 home runs, 176 RBIs and 135 runs scored. Guerrero slashed .331/.413/.531 with a .945 OPS. He coincidentally has the same amount of career home runs as Alvarez but it took him 288 games to accomplish what Alvarez did in 214 games.
As you can see, Guerrero edges out Alvarez in career BA and OBP but Alvarez wins out in the power department. Alvarez is averaging 0.82 RBIs per game versus Guerrero’s 0.72. The runs scored per game over both of their careers are almost identical.
Guerrero just got called up by the Toronto Blue Jays and we’ll see how that transpires in time. He’s got big shoes to fill, following in his father’s footsteps, and sometimes the pressure of the media and the fans can weigh heavily on you. But I do wish him well and hope that he lives up to the expectations.
Alvarez has yet to make that step to the big leagues, but he’s knocking on the doorstep. The Houston outfield is a crowded one and a lot may depend on the performances of Tyler White and Tony Kemp. But if he continues to play at the level he’s displayed, the Astros may have no choice but to give him the call. When he does get that call, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if he plays toe-to-toe with Guerrero, if not better.