HOUSTON — Astros outfield prospect Yordan Alvarez is getting the call up from Triple-A Round Rock for Sunday's game against the Baltimore Orioles, according to media reports on Saturday.
Alvarez's arrival to the big leagues is much-anticipated. He's been a machine at the plate in the minors, averaging .343 with a 1.184 OPS and slugging .742.
On the Extra Bases with Bristol & Booth podcast, KHOU 11 baseball analyst Jeremy Booth -- with a straight face -- quoted reputable scouts with this nugget: "I'm not saying he's David Ortiz. And I'm not saying he's Ryan Howard. But he might be."
So, yeah. That's some lofty praise for a 21-year-old with no major league at bats.
Not that the Astros are having a tough time on offense and need a David Ortiz- or Ryan Howard-like presence. They still ranked in the top three in key hitting statistics Saturday.
But the news comes while the team is hobbled. Franchise cornerstones Jose Altuve, George Springer and Carlos Correa are all sidelined with injuries.
Adding a player like Alvarez could provide a spark, even for a team with a nine-game lead in its division and a top 3 winning percentage in all of baseball.
Michael Brantley, who the Astros signed as a free agent in the offseason, has proven to be the left-handed bat they were looking for. Alvarez, who is not highly regarded for his defense, could be that player in the future.
Here's more from Booth:
"I heard he's ready. It's a matter of when, not if, and who does he move. And whose at bats does he take. That guy doesn't come up here to sit. That guy's got to play down there (in the minor leagues) until there's a spot for him. ...
"He comes up and the question is, oh, where does he play. First base is a work in progress. What do you do. You know what he plays? Left-hand hitter. That's where he plays. He plays in the left-hand box and he swings and hits and produces runs. He's a middle-of-the-order, run-producing bat."
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