Why Alvarez Deserved the ROY Award
Despite a bitter end to the Houston Astros’ season, the team has won an award with rookie Yordan Alvarez. The batter was named AL Rookie of the Year Award for this season, winning it with landslide voting.
The 23-year-old was the heavy favourite to win the award. He was voted unanimously for the award, earning 30 first-place votes worth 150 points, and he was trailed by John Means who had 53 points coming off 16 second-place votes and five third-place votes.
He hit .313 to go along with 27 homers, 78 RBIs. Alvarez has also set a Major League rookie record with an impressive 1.067 OPS in 87 games. He also won the American League Rookie of the Month for three straight months in the big league.
The result was revealed by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. He now sits in Astros history with Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell, who won the award in the National League back in 1991, and Carlos Correa in the AL four years ago as the only players to win the Rookie of the Year Award for the team.
His clear win also makes him the 11th player to win the award by unanimous vote. He is expected to bring the same level of play as the Astros look forward to redeeming themselves in the season after a long offseason talk regarding the sign-stealing allegations in their 2017 title.
One of the most important storylines that the baseball world has to watch is how the reigning Rookie of the Year will actually thrive in his first full season in the majors. He has shown his versatility and strong output to be totally worth the pick, but now he has to prove that he is reliable as a player in a squad which has seen the worst of an offseason.
He was an absolute stunner in the plate last year, and he could really be the next big thing for the Astros after losing some of their key players in trades and signings.
Alvarez has worked on his speed in the offseason with the possibility of playing in the outfield, and that means that we might actually see him make more than nine starts in the outfield this season.
The 23-year-old will definitely make things happen if he continues to thrive with the squad. He might not be your ideal target for a Gold Glove, but he could really become a useful player in the passable left field. The Minute Maid Park itself has shown some advantages thanks to its dimensions, and that will allow him to get more comfortable with a possible centre-field start.
We can all expect these changes especially with Dusty Baker at the helm. It is a fresh mind that would give the Astros a change of pace and environment than what they had with AJ Hinch back then.
The stings of the sign-stealing scandal are far from being left behind. They have to reclaim their former glory and win the World Series, this time without those loud banging trash cans.
After all, they will still want to avenge their loss to the Washington Nationals - who are set to defend the title against a revamped league that is hungry to make history after being balanced out in the offseason.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores