Houston Astros top prospect Yordan Alvarez continues to assault minor league pitching, while Forrest Whitley still needs to iron things out.
With each passing day, with each towering home run, the chorus of Astros fans clamoring for Yordan Alvarez to reach the big leagues grows. For his part, the 21-year-old lefty looks like a man among boys, as he puts up video game numbers in Round Rock.
Fellow outfielder Derek Fisher is also enjoying a hot streak, while top pitching prospect Forrest Whitley‘s struggles continue, as noted last week. Lefty Cionel Perez is also trying to figure things out for the Express.
Yordan Alvarez: Is it even fair anymore?
It seems like Alvarez against minor league pitching is akin to Babe Ruth hitting against a second-string rec league pitcher with a beer gut. He’s reached base safely in 10 straight games and is up to a .411/.494/.884 line with 18 homers and 55 RBIs in 39 games.
Meanwhile, Tyler White has yet to homer for the Astros this season. If that trend continues, the Astros could be forced to call Alvarez up to the majors sooner, rather than later. Alvarez just has nothing left to prove in Triple-A.
Derek Fisher: Finding his swing
Fisher’s certainly found a groove lately, riding a six-game hit streak, with three consecutive three-hit efforts. He’s up to a .328/.394/.574 line on the season and would be next in line to the big leagues, if not for Alvarez.
The 25-year-old hasn’t been able to establish himself in the big leagues, but a nice season in Triple-A could make him trade bait if the Astros want to improve the major league roster later this season. Some team out there would probably like to give him a shot.
Forrest Whitley: Can’t find my way home
The headline is an ode to a classic Blind Faith tune, but it sort of fits here. Whitley pitched on Friday and gave up four runs on six hits in four innings, striking out four and walking two. Simply put, he’s struggling to find his way right now.
He’s given up four or more runs in five of his past six appearances, leaving his season ERA at a ghastly 10.48. He’s got too much talent to not figure it out eventually, but it looks like he’s got more work to do before he’s big league ready.
Cionel Perez: Losing his command
Perez managed a 3.97 ERA in eight big league appearances in 2018, but he’s not making the case for another promotion thus far. After surrendering four runs in five innings on Sunday, his ERA at Round Rock crept up to 6.51 across eight appearances (seven starts).
He’s simply allowing too many base-runners to be successful with a 1.84 WHIP on the season. He’s walked 18 batters in 27.2 innings and allowed a .306 batting average against him. The 23-year-old left-hander has good stuff on the mound but needs to harness it to get back to the majors.
***Statistics courtesy of MiLB.com***