Just thirty games into his magical career and Astros Yordan Alvarez has already locked up the AL Rookie of the Year Award, and it isn’t even close.
During the drubbing of the Oakland Athletics, Houston Astros rookie sensation Yordan Alvarez accomplished a feat that only Albert Pujols before him had accomplished, driving in a stunning 34 runs in his first 30 games. But he wasn’t finished, the following inning, he broke the record with his 35th RBI.
It’s funny that Alvarez surpassed Pujols because their trajectory in the majors is almost mirrored. Both debuted at 21. Both absolutely tore the cover off the ball in their first 30 games. Finally, both being pegged as a lumbering left-fielder destined for either first base or designated hitter.
The only difference, Pujols had a full season under his belt as a rookie, debuting in April. Yordan Alvarez has only been up since June 9th.
In 2001, Pujols won the NL Rookie of the Year Award, capping off an amazing rookie campaign. Hitting an astounding .329 average while clubbing 37 home runs, driving in 130 RBIs, and scoring 112 runs himself.
Air Yordan? He’s on pace to hit .315 while knocking out 34 home runs, and driving in 100 RBI’s. And the AL Rookie of the Year title may just be the start of it.
No one else is as prolific of a hitter in their rookie season than Alvarez. That is, at least in the American League.
But the simple fact is that Yordan Alvarez is doing something that Astros fans haven’t seen since Jeff Bagwell. Speaking of Bagwell, his and Alverez’s way to Houston are strikingly similar as well.
In 1990, Boston was in search of bullpen and help had prospects to give up to acquire what they needed. Boston, not being sold on Bagwell due to his skinny frame, lack of hitting for power, and question marks about his fielding, shipped off the young third-base prospect for the prolific slider of Larry Anderson.
In 2016, the Dodgers were also looking to add depth to their bullpen in their quest for a World Series ring. They shipped off a strong left fielder, who had yet tapped into his power and had very limited fielding ability to the Houston Astros for a cutter throwing reliever that showed he could make batters miss with regularity.
Astros fans will always praise the Josh Fields for this, the greatest gift he has ever given the city of Houston.
Call it an omen of sorts, call it the beautiful game of baseball, but the similarities between Alvarez and two Hall of Fame first basemen is only the start of a beautiful and awe-inspiring career for this young superstar.