Yordan Alvarez has made a strong impression in the Texas League, but he'll be forced to miss some game action.
Houston's fourth-ranked prospect -- who has not played since May 6 -- was placed on the seven-day disabled list Wednesday by Double-A Corpus Christi. In the eighth inning of that 4-1 loss to San Antonio, Alvarez collided with third baseman Randy Cesar while trying to make a play on a soft fly ball to left field. He exited the game under his own power, flexing his left arm and hand.
After hitting .304 with an .859 OPS between Class Quad Cities and Class A Advanced Buies Creek last year, the No. 79 overall prospect has amassed a .299/.374/.542 line across 27 games in Double-A. On the defensive side, Alvarez split time between first base and the outfield through his first two professional seasons, but has played 203 innings in left field and just one at first in 2018.
"He's been doing a great job all season really," Hooks manager Omar Lopez told MiLB.com on May 2. "He looked really in at the plate. You could tell he was seeing the ball pretty good because you have to hit the ball the opposite way like he did. He's getting better at plate discipline. When the ball's in the zone, he'll make contact or foul it off. When there are mistakes, that's when he can really do damage."
Acquired by the Astros from the Dodgers for right-hander Josh Fields at the 2016 trade deadline, Alvarez has hit .307 with 19 homers and 99 RBIs through his first three Minor League seasons. Lopez said he wouldn't be surprised to see the 20-year-old's power numbers jump up this season with the work ethic he has off the field and the advanced approach he has in the batter's box. Now in his second full season in the organization, Alvarez is more acquainted with the professional game.
"That's the biggest thing our hitting coach, Troy Snitker, and really our whole hitting department is working on with him, even going back to last year," Lopez said. "It's all about creating a swing path that allows him to make the most of that power. ... But people need to remember Yordan is a Cuban player. There were about two or three years where he wasn't in pro ball. Now he's in Double-A. It's just about getting his reps, and that's exactly what he's doing. He's physically stronger too and seems like he's working more on cardio and his lower half. It's coming together well.
"I think he can be a 30-homer guy, at least. When his whole approach is connected and everything is in sync, he'll do a lot of damage, I know that."