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Yordan Álvarez

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Yordan Álvarez
Yordan Alvarez (48784546838) (cropped).jpg
Álvarez with the Houston Astros in 2019
Houston Astros – No. 44
Designated hitter / Outfielder
Born: (1997-06-27) June 27, 1997 (age 24)
Las Tunas, Cuba
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
MLB debut
June 9, 2019, for the Houston Astros
MLB statistics
(through May 13, 2022)
Batting average.289
Home runs72
Runs batted in207
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Yordan Ruben Álvarez (born June 27, 1997) is a Cuban professional baseball designated hitter and outfielder for the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut in 2019 for the Astros. Álvarez stands 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m), weighs 225 pounds (102 kg), bats left-hand and throws right-handed.

Prior to his American career, Álvarez played two seasons in the Cuban National Series for Las Tunas. He defected from Cuba in 2016 to establish residency in Haiti, where he first signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers as an international free agent. Houston acquired him via trade from the Dodgers in 2016 before he made his professional debut. In 2019, he was unanimously named American League (AL) Rookie of the Year after posting the highest slugging percentage (.655) by a qualified rookie in history.

After missing all but two games of the abbreviated 2020 season due to injury, Álvarez was named the 2021 American League Championship Series MVP, having posted an ALCS-record .522 batting average, and becoming the first player in MLB history to out-hit their entire opposing team over the final two games of a playoff series.

Professional career

Cuban National Series

Yordan Álvarez played two seasons in the Cuban National Series (CNS) for the Leñadores de Las Tunas.[1] In his second season, 2014–15, he batted .351, ranking second on the Leñadores, and hit one double and one home run over 40 games and 125 plate appearances.[2]

Defection from Cuba

Álvarez defected from Cuba, then established residency in Haiti in 2016.[3] While in Haiti, he met future Houston Astros teammate Yuli Gurriel and his brother, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., also a future major leaguer, and fellow Cubans. Álvarez then travelled to West Palm Beach, Florida, where the Astros were building their spring training site, The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. He befriended Astros scout Charlie Gonzalez, who lobbied for club officials to sign Álvarez. The club declined, however, having already incurred signing penalties from Gurriel's five-year, $47.5 million contract.[4] Álvarez signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers as an international free agent in June 2016[5] for $2 million.[4]

Minor leagues

In August 2016, the Dodgers, in need of relief pitching, traded Álvarez to the Astros for Josh Fields,[6] before he played a single game in the minors.[4] Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman would later acknowledge that trading Álvarez was "a mistake" and admitted "I obviously wish I would have said yes to other names [the Astros] asked for before him." (Friedman first believed that they wanted Yadier Álvarez).[7]

Álvarez made his professional debut in 2016 with the Dominican Summer League Astros, where he spent the rest of year, batting .341 with a .974 OPS in 16 games.

Álvarez started 2017 with the Quad Cities River Bandits and was promoted to the Buies Creek Astros during the season.[8][9][10] In 90 total games between the River Bandits and Astros, he batted .304/.379/.481 with 12 home runs and 69 RBIs in 335 at bats.[11] He played in the 2017 All-Star Futures Game.[12][13]

Álvarez (left) with Luis García at the 2018 All-Star Futures Game
Álvarez (left) with Luis García at the 2018 All-Star Futures Game

Álvarez was ranked among the top prospects in the minor leagues prior to the 2018 season. He started the 2018 season playing with the Corpus Christi Hooks of the Class AA Texas League.[14] Despite being a right-handed thrower, Alvarez was incorrectly listed as a left-handed thrower by many websites prior to 2018 spring training. He split the 2018 season between Corpus Christi and the Fresno Grizzlies of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League, hitting a combined .293/.369/.534/.904 with 63 runs, 20 home runs and 74 RBIs in 335 at bats.[15]

Álvarez opened the 2019 season with the Round Rock Express of the Pacific Coast League.[16] Prior to his first major league call-up, Álvarez batted .343/.443/.742 with 50 runs, 38 walks, 23 home runs, 71 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.185 in 213 at bats with Round Rock.[17]

Houston Astros

American League Rookie of the Year and All-MLB Team selection (2019)

On June 9, 2019, the Astros selected Álvarez' contract and promoted him to make his major league debut that afternoon versus the Baltimore Orioles.[17] He went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run in his debut.[18] The following game, Álvarez again homered, this time versus Matt Albers of the Milwaukee Brewers. He became the first Astro to homer in both of his first two games.[19] Álvarez became the fourth player in Major League Baseball (MLB) history to hit four home runs in his first five career games when he homered off of Clayton Richard of the Toronto Blue Jays, joining Trevor Story, Yasiel Puig and Mike Jacobs.[20] On June 23, Álvarez hit a 2-run home run for his 7th home run of the season in only 12 games, establishing an Astros franchise record. He also became the first player in MLB history to drive in 16 runs in his first 12 games.[21] He won the American League (AL) Rookie of the Month Award for both June and July – the first Astro to do so – after garnering 48 hits, batting .336, 13 doubles, 13 homers and 39 RBI, .699 slugging, and 1.120 OPS. He also led MLB with a 1.120 OPS since his debut, and was second in the AL with a .421 OBP, fourth in SLG, sixth in RBI, and seventh in average. Thus, he emerged as a leading contender for AL Rookie of the Year honors despite his late start to the season.[22]

On August 10, Álvarez hit a grand slam and homered twice more at Camden Yards versus the Orioles for his first three-home run game in a 23–2 romp. With a career-high seven runs driven in, his total stood at 51 to establish the major league record for the first 45 games.[23] The 23 runs accounted for a franchise record for runs scored in one game.[24] In a homestand at Minute Maid Park, Álvarez drove in six runs on three doubles in 21–1 romp over the Seattle Mariners on September 8.[25] The following day, he hit home run numbers 23 and 24 in 15–0 win versus the Oakland Athletics to break Carlos Correa's franchise record for rookies, set in 2015.[26]

In 2019, Álvarez batted .313/.412/.655 with 27 home runs and 75 RBIs in 313 at bats, and was the ninth-youngest ballplayer in the AL.[27] The unanimous winner of the AL Rookie of the Year Award, Álvarez' .655 slugging percentage (SLG)[28] and 1.067 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) were both the highest in history for a qualified rookie, exceeding Shoeless Joe Jackson's 1.058 OPS during his 1911 rookie campaign (minimum 350 plate appearances). Álvarez also led AL rookies in on-base percentage (OBP, .412) and extra base hits (53), and was second in HR and RBI. Likewise, the Houston chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted Álvarez as the Astros' Rookie of the Year.[29]

Going into World Series play versus the Washington Nationals, Álvarez had endured a 1–22 performance versus the New York Yankees in his first American League Championship Series (ALCS). In Game 5 of the World Series, he hit a two-run home run off Joe Ross a 7–1 Houston victory. It Álvarez' first career home run in both World Series and postseason play, and first home run since September 21.[30]

2020

Álvarez sat out the beginning of the 2020 season after having tested positive for COVID-19.[31] He returned in August and played just two games before undergoing arthroscopic surgery on both of his knees, shutting him down for the rest of the season.[32]

All-MLB Second Team and ALCS MVP (2021)

On May 7, 2021, Álvarez drove in his 100th run, doing so in his 114th career game as part of a 10–4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. He was the seventh-fastest player to reach 100 RBIs in league history and the fastest to do so since the expansion era started in 1961. The next game, he homered and drove in three more in an 8–4 loss to the Blue Jays for 103 RBIs in 115 games.[33]

Álvarez hit his 30th home run of the season on September 13; at the age of 24, he was the second Astro to hit 30 home runs in a season at that age after Alex Bregman, who hit 31 in 2018.[34] On September 23, Álvarez drove in two runs on a home run in the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels to score his 100th RBI of the season. He was the second-youngest Astro to reach 100 RBIs in one season, trailing César Cedeño, who did so at the age of 23 in 1974.[35]

On the 2021 season, he batted .277/.346/.531 and led the Astros in home runs (33), RBIs (104), and strikeouts (145) and tied for the team lead in double plays grounded into (GIDP, 16) in 537 at bats.[36] He was named All-MLB Team Second Team at DH, his second career selection.[37]

In Game 5 of the ALCS, the Astros faced Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale at Fenway Park in a 9–1 win. Álvarez logged three hits and three RBIs versus the left-handed ace, all to the opposite field, including one home run that cleared the Green Monster. This marked the first occasion in Álvarez' career in which he had collected that many opposite-field hits, and first time facing Sale; meanwhile Sale had allowed four total hits to left-handed batters over his 42+23 innings in 2021. The last left-handed batter to realize three hits in one game versus Sale was David Ortiz on July 30, 2015.[38] In Game 6, Álvarez collected four hits–including two doubles and one triple–as Houston prevailed, 5–0, the decisive game of the ALCS. He hit .522, with a 1.408 OPS, three doubles, one triple, one home run, six RBIs, and seven runs scored. His .522 average set a record for ALCS play, eclipsing Kevin Youkilis' .500 average hit in 2007. Álvarez was named ALCS Most Valuable Player (MVP), becoming the fourth Cuban-born player and the first designated hitter since Ortiz to win the award.[39][40] Álvarez did not carry his success into the World Series, in which he went 2-for-20 as the Astros lost to the Atlanta Braves in six games.[27]

Awards

See also

References

  1. ^ "Toolshed: Alvarez taking off with Astros". MiLB.com. June 23, 2017. Archived from the original on June 23, 2017. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  2. ^ "2014-15 Leñadores de Las Tunas". Baseball-Refereence.com. Archived from the original on October 28, 2021. Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  3. ^ writing, the Associated Press Sports Editors for beat; Reporting, Explanatory; Writing, Feature; Times, game stories Prior to joining The; Star, he covered baseball at the Kansas City; Newark, the Star-Ledger in; University, N. J. A. graduate of Syracuse; Philadelphia, he grew up in the suburbs of (July 6, 2019). "How the Houston Astros nabbed slugger Yordan Alvarez from the Dodgers". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 7, 2019. Retrieved July 7, 2019. {{cite web}}: |first1= has generic name (help)
  4. ^ a b c Wagner, James (October 21, 2021). "In a place he never thought he'd be, and thriving: Houston's Yordan Alvarez grew up in Cuba believing he'd never need to learn English. The M.V.P. of the A.L.C.S. lets his tape measure homers do the talking". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 23, 2021. Retrieved October 23, 2021.
  5. ^ "Dodgers sign Yordan Alvarez as signing period closes". Baseball America. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  6. ^ Press Release. "Astros acquire Cuban IF/OF Yordan Alvarez from Dodgers". MLB.com. Archived from the original on July 12, 2017. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  7. ^ Borrelli, Matt (October 27, 2019). "Dodgers News: Andrew Friedman wishes 'we would have said yes' with other players before trading Yordan Alvarez to Astros". Dodger Blue. Archived from the original on April 23, 2021. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  8. ^ "Bandits' smooth-swinging Alvarez makes it look easy | Midwest League Baseball". qctimes.com. June 19, 2017. Archived from the original on June 27, 2017. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  9. ^ "Alvarez continues hot start at the plate with River Bandits | QC River Bandits". qconline.com. June 7, 2017. Archived from the original on July 7, 2020. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  10. ^ Kaplan, Jake (June 23, 2017). "Astros promote Yordan Alvarez to Advanced Class A - Houston Chronicle". Chron.com. Archived from the original on June 27, 2017. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  11. ^ "Yordan Alvarez Stats, Highlights, Bio - MiLB.com Stats - The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". mILB.com. Archived from the original on December 6, 2017. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  12. ^ "Yordan Alvarez to rep Astros in Futures Game". MLB.com. Archived from the original on 2018-05-04. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  13. ^ Kaplan, Jake (July 9, 2017). "Rise of prospect Yordan Alvarez gives Astros options to consider". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on July 6, 2020. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  14. ^ "Houston Astros prospect Yordan Alvarez, 16 returners on 2018 Corpus Christi Hooks roster". caller.com. Archived from the original on 2018-05-04. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  15. ^ "Yordan Alvarez Cuban, Minor & Fall Leagues Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Archived from the original on 2019-07-12. Retrieved 2019-10-11.
  16. ^ "Round Rock Express Announce Preliminary 2019 Roster". MiLB.com. March 27, 2019. Archived from the original on April 21, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  17. ^ a b Cohn, Brian (June 9, 2019). "The Astros call up Yordan Alvarez". The Crawfish Boxes. Archived from the original on June 9, 2019. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  18. ^ McTaggart, Brian (June 9, 2019). "Yordan Alvarez in Astros' lineup, batting 5th". MLB.com. Archived from the original on June 9, 2019. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  19. ^ McTaggert, Brian (2019-06-12). "Alvarez makes history in Astros' 4-HR night". MLB.com. Archived from the original on 2019-06-12. Retrieved 2019-06-15.
  20. ^ McTaggert, Brian (2019-06-15). "5 games. 4 homers. History for Astros phenom". MLB.com/access-date=2019-06-15. Archived from the original on 2019-06-15. Retrieved 2019-06-16.
  21. ^ Feinsand, Mark (June 23, 2019). "Alvarez on record pace with 7 HRs, 16 RBIs". MLB.com. Archived from the original on June 24, 2019. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  22. ^ Rome, Chandler (August 3, 2019). "Astros trio gets AL monthly honors for July". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on August 4, 2019. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  23. ^ Rome, Chandler (August 10, 2019). "Astros insider: Yordan Álvarez is cerebral, powerful and humble". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on August 11, 2019. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  24. ^ "Yordan Alvarez belts 3 homers as Astros destroy Orioles". New York Post. The Associated Press. August 11, 2019. Archived from the original on August 11, 2019. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  25. ^ "Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros box score, September 8, 2019". Baseball-Reference.com. Archived from the original on May 20, 2020. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  26. ^ Rome, Chandler (September 9, 2019). "Astros insider: Yordan Álvarez is 'above and beyond'". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on October 30, 2019. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  27. ^ a b c d "Yordan Álvarez stats". Baseball-Reference.com. Archived from the original on October 9, 2019. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  28. ^ McTaggart, Brian (November 11, 2019). "Alvarez unanimous AL Rookie of the Year". MLB.com. Archived from the original on October 24, 2021. Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  29. ^ a b Astros Press Release (October 1, 2019). "Houston BBWAA announces 2019 awards". MLB.com. Archived from the original on October 21, 2021. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  30. ^ Apstein, Stephanie (October 28, 2019). "Álvarez Breaks Out of Slump With Correa's Help in Astros' Game 5 Win". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on November 5, 2019. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  31. ^ Sherman, Joel (July 22, 2020). "Let's hope MLB can pull off this bizarre season: Sherman". New York Post. Archived from the original on July 23, 2020. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  32. ^ Rome, Chandler (August 28, 2020). "Astros' Yordan Alvarez undergoes arthroscopic surgery on both knees". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on November 9, 2020. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  33. ^ McTaggart, Brian (May 8, 2021). "'He's a hitter': Yordan goes off once more". MLB.com. Archived from the original on October 21, 2021. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  34. ^ @Chandler_Rome (September 14, 2021). "Yordan Alvarez and Alex Bregman are the two youngest players in Astros history to have 30-homer seasons. Bregman ha…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  35. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2021-10-21. Retrieved 2021-09-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  36. ^ "2021 Houston Astros statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Archived from the original on October 20, 2021. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  37. ^ Castrovince, Anthony (November 23, 2021). "The '21 All-MLB Team is here. And it's stacked". MLB.com. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  38. ^ Kramer, Daniel (October 20, 2021). "Alvarez (3 hits, 3 RBIs) unleashes in Game 5". MLB.com. Archived from the original on October 20, 2021. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
  39. ^ Kramer, Daniel (October 22, 2021). "MVP Alvarez (.522) unstoppable in ALCS". MLB.com. Archived from the original on October 23, 2021. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  40. ^ "Postseason award winners | history". MLB.com. Archived from the original on October 24, 2021. Retrieved October 24, 2021.

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by American League Rookie of the Month
June—August 2019
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 14 May 2022, at 01:53
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