Astros fans definitely didn't see this massive Yordan Alvarez problem arising in 2024

Houston Astros v New York Yankees
Houston Astros v New York Yankees / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Ever since his rookie season back in 2019, Yordan Alvarez has been a critical part of the Houston Astros' success as an organization. Between 2019-2023, he averaged a .295/.390/.588 line and was basically a lock to hit 30+ homers a year. It is not hyperbole to suggest that without him anchoring the lineup, Houston wouldn't have been nearly as successful as they have been in recent years.

So far in 2024, though, Alvarez just hasn't matched that production. He is slashing a mediocre, but still "fine-ish", .257/.330/.437 with solid eight homers. However, one growing issue that is plaguing Alvarez and Houston is Alvarez's woeful numbers with runners in scoring position.

Yordan Alvarez's inability to drive in runners is costing the Astros

Over the course of his career, Alvarez has typically excelled with runners on second and/or third. In 631 plate appearances with RISP in his career, Alvarez has slashed .308/.404/.604 with 36 homers and 265 RBI. In short, he has been money when prime scoring chances have presented themselves.

In 2024, those numbers have fallen off a cliff. In his 55 plate appearances with runners in scoring position this year, his .152/.255/.283 line looks more like what you would see from a bottom-of-the-order hitter (or Jose Abreu) than you would from the marquee slugger on a championship-contending team.

Part of Alvarez's decline with RISP can be explained by the decline in his overall production this year. If a guy is having a bit of a down start to the year, his numbers with runners on are also going to go down. Most of his batted ball profile in 2024 still looks great, and points to him having some rotten luck overall, but he is also chasing out of the zone more than he typically does, which isn't great.

Alvarez is too good a hitter to have this stick, and it's worth mentioning that his career numbers from June (his best month historically with a 1.091 OPS) onward are typically better than his early-season numbers. The Astros have to hope that is the case because right now, he seems lost and lacking answers when Houston has needed him to carry them the most.

More Astros News from Climbing Tal's Hill