HOUSTON — Houston Astros designated hitter Yordan Alvarez is the favorite to win American League Rookie of the Year. The 22-year-old from Cuba made his major league debut on June 9, 2019 and is now playing in the World Series.
Here are some facts to know about Alvarez:
NEW BONUS FACT!
With Alvarez's huge two-run homer in the top of the second inning in Game 5 of the 2019 World Series against the Washington Nationals, "Air Yordan" became one of the youngest players ever to go deep in the Fall Classic.
As a teen, Alvarez played two seasons in the Cuban National Series with Las Tunas. He then defected from Cuba to the Dominican Republic and signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016. Los Angeles gave Alvarez a $2 million signing bonus before he was traded.
How he became an Astro
The Dodgers traded Alvarez to the Astros for Josh Fields in 2016 -- a trade many believe to be one of the most lopsided in MLB history. Alvarez, who was 19 years old at the time, made his professional debut for the Dominican Summer League Astros and spent the next couple of the seasons in the minor leagues, playing, for the Corpus Christi Hooks, Fresno Grizzlies and Round Rock Express, among other teams. He debuted for the Astros in June, going 1 for 3 with a two-run homer.
He's the third-youngest Astro to start a postseason game
At 22 years and 99 days, he's the third-youngest Astro in franchise history to start a postseason game. Carlos Correa is second (21 in 2015), and Richard Hidalgo tops the list (22 years, 94 days in 1997).
He's a record-setter
Alvarez set a major league record for OPS by a rookie in a single season (1.067), passing Shoeless Joe Jackson’s record of 1.058 set in 1911. He also led all AL rookies in extra-base hits (53), OPS (1.067), OBP (.412) and slugging (.655) (min. 350PA). On June 23, he hit a 2-run homer for his 7th home run of the season in only 12 games, an Astros franchise record. Alvarez also became the first player in league history to drive in 16 runs in his first 12 games.
He draws comparisons to a Hall of Famer
Alvarez, who is 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, is close in size to Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, also left-handed slugger who wore No. 44 and made his debut for the San Francisco Giants in July 1959. McCovey .354 with 13 homers to win the Rookie of the Year Award. Before the season, KHOU 11 baseball analyst Jeremy Booth compared Alvarez to Ryan Howard and David Ortiz.