The last month has been pretty good for the Astros as they took first place in the AL West and even had two huge winning streaks. But, probably, this couldn’t have been possible without Yordan Álvarez’s bat. Lately, the young slugger has been torturing rival pitchers with his power from the left side of the plate.
From June 8 to July 8, Álvarez accumulated 90 at-bats and registered 29 hits, with three doubles and nine home runs. He drove in 28 runs, scored 22 times, recorded 17 walks, and posted a massive .322/.440/.656/1.096 slash line. His performance includes two five-RBI games, a two-homer showing, and four dingers over a six-game stretch from June 21 to 26.
That 1.096 OPS ranks sixth in the Majors during the cited span among hitters with at least 100 plate appearances, behind only Shohei Ohtani, Kyle Schwarber, Joey Gallo, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Fernando Tatís Jr. Those nine home runs are the fourth-highest mark in the American League and his 28 ribbies are tied for most in the Majors with Nationals’ Schwarber.
If you’re looking for an even more impressive stat for Álvarez in the last month, he has a 97.0-mph average exit velocity, which is notably higher than his already-great 92.4-mph exit velo for the whole season. Those 97.0 miles per hour are the best mark (tied with Guerrero Jr.) for any hitter in the MLB with 300-plus pitches seen since June 8.
DOES HE PREFER TO BE ON THE FIELD?
When it comes to Álvarez, the Astros have been pretty careful with him after missing almost the entire 2020 season to injury. That’s why he’s been the Astros’ designated hitter for most of his time with the big-league team. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s Yordan’s preference.
In fact, when he’s played as a left-fielder this campaign, the young star has a .381/.509/.833 slash line across 13 games and 53 total plate appearances. That performance at the batter’s box features 16 hits, with one double, six home runs, 13 runs batted in, 14 runs scored, and 10 bases on balls. How about that?
To be even more aware of Álvarez’s offensive greatness, he got to Friday’s game with 161 career games, one shy of the 162 equivalent to a full regular season. So far in his trajectory, he’s got 182 hits, 42 doubles, 44 four-baggers, 138 RBIs, 113 runs, 76 walks, and overwhelming averages (.308/.394/.606/.999).
Just to have a reference, there have been only NINE players in MLB history with a season of at least 40 doubles, 40 home runs, 130 ribbies, 110 runs, 75 walks, and a .300 batting average. Those are Lou Gehrig (3), Babe Ruth (2), Hank Greenberg (2), Todd Helton (2), Larry Walker, Albert Belle, Carlos Delgado, Frank Thomas, and Albert Pujols.
In Yordan Álvarez, we’re just witnessing a special hitter that can do it all with his bat. So far, let’s hope he keeps it going in the long run and stays healthy for a long time.