The Houston Astros have hit speed bumps with injuries and the loss of George Springer, but with Yordan Alvarez playing in spring training again, all you can hope for is a bounce back year. The 2019 American League Rookie of the Year will return for his first full season in 2021, and it could be his first run at an All-Star appearance.
The left-hander only played in two games in 2020, after being sidelined with knee injuries. Alvarez went 0-for-2 in Saturday’s loss against the St. Louis Cardinals, but a double in Friday’s game showed a good sign for the power hitter’s legs and swing. The slugging machine is not getting the hype he might deserve, but coming off knee surgeries, it could be hard to bounce back.
What can the Astros expect from Alvarez?
While being one of the most explosive hitters in baseball, Alvarez isn’t a household just yet. The left-hander is entering his first full season ever in MLB, and at 23-years-old, this is the perfect time for people to start remembering his name.
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Baseball Reference is projecting Alvarez to only have 249 plate appearances, which comes out around to only 60 games in 2021. Although not playing a full season in 2019 or 2020, this seems a little outrageous to think. Coming off knee surgeries can be a tough task, but at such a young age and being a designated hitter, he should be playing in every AL series.
They are projecting the left-hander to slash .284/.380/.558 with only 15 home runs, but by the looks of his projected appearances, this makes sense. You can expect an OPS north of .900 for Alvarez, which is good enough for an All-Star appearance.
While the starters are voted on by fans and have become a popularity contest, it makes sense that teams and coaches look to Alvarez to be a reserve in 2021. Although not having the best spring, Alvarez’s swing is looking like it once was, and if he mirrors his 2019 numbers, he is a shoe-in for an All-Star roster spot.
The team made a few more roster cuts Friday morning, as Bryan De La Cruz, Kit Scheetz and Seth Martinez were reassigned to the minor leagues; this leaves about 48 players waiting for an assignment. Houston is back on the field Sunday in Jupiter against the Miami Marlins at 12:05 p.m. with Zack Greinke, Steve Cishek, Peter Solomon and Nivaldo Rodriguez are scheduled to pitch.