Yordan Alvarez makes the talent-rich Astros even richer
The Houston Astros are into their 3rd season as the top team in the American League. They were the World Series champions in 2017. Even though they lost to the buzzsaw that was the Red Sox in last year’s playoffs, the Astros had more talent and depth. This year, they have dominated the AL with incredible starting pitching and a deadly lineup of established stars. As if that’s not enough, the team also has the rookie who is all but guaranteed to win the AL Rookie of the Year: Yordan Alvarez.
Everyone else is playing for 2nd place
Alvarez will be the unanimous choice for 3 reasons. First, as mentioned, he plays for a Championship contender in Houston. Voters favor players who are part of a winning culture. This rules out such talented young stars as John Means of the Orioles, Spencer Turnbull of the Tigers, and the duo of Vlad Guerrero and Bo Bichette of the Blue Jays. Secondly, Alvarez has stayed healthy, something his chief competition for the award has not done. Brandon Lowe of the Tampa Bay Rays was the favorite at the start of July. Unfortunately, an injury sidelined him and Lowe hasn’t played in over 2 months.
Alvarez fits right in with great rookies of the past
But the 3rd and final reason is the simplest and most important. Yordan Alvarez, who didn’t come up to the major leagues until June 9th, is having one of the greatest statistical rookie seasons in baseball history. His performance has been compared to the first years of standouts such as Mike Trout, Aaron Judge, and Ichiro Suzuki. This is pretty elite company. Only time will tell if he will follow the path to greatness that Trout and Ichiro did. There’s little question that Alvarez is off to a great start. While some baseball old-timers will hold it against Alvarez that he is a DH and doesn’t have to play on defense, they will be a minority. Yordan Alvarez will be the AL Rookie of the Year for 2019 with 100% of the 1st-place votes.