ROUND ROCK, Texas - After dominating Triple-A then not skipping a beat in his midseason promotion to the Houston Astros, former Round Rock Express OF Yordan Alvarez has been unanimously named American League Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. With the honor, Alvarez becomes the first Express alumnus to be named Rookie of the Year in Round Rock's 20-year history. He became the 11th player in MLB history to earn Rookie of the Year honors by a unanimous vote.
The slugger appeared in 56 games for the E-Train in 2019, marking the third-most games played at the minor league level for any player during a Rookie of the Year award-winning season in MLB history. Former Tampa Bay OF Wil Myers played in 64 games in the minors during his Rookie of the Year season in 2013 while Hall of Fame INF Willie McCovey holds the record with 95 games played in the minors before being named Rookie of the Year in 1959.
Alvarez was called up to Houston on June 9, where he went on to appear in 87 games for the Astros in the regular season. He finished the year with a .313 batting average after hitting 98-313 with 26 doubles, 27 home runs and 78 RBI. Alvarez' 27 home runs set a new Astros rookie club record while his 53 extra-base hits, .412 OBP, .655 SLG and 1.067 OPS led all AL rookies in 2019. His OPS is the highest for any rookie in MLB history, breaking Shoeless Joe Jackson's 1.058 mark from his rookie season in 1911.
From his debut on June 9 through the end of the regular season, Alvarez ranked among AL leaders in a variety of offensive categories, finishing second in RBI, third in OBP and SLG, fourth in OPS, fifth in extra-base hits, tied for sixth in homers, tied for seventh in doubles and ninth in batting average.
At the time of his promotion from Round Rock, Alvarez was leading the Pacific Coast League in nearly every offensive category, including home runs (23), RBI (71), walks (38), extra-base hits (39), total bases (158) and runs scored (50). He also ranked second in the league in OBP (.443), SLG (.742) and OPS (1.184) and third in hits (73). His .343 batting average was eighth in the PCL.
The 23-year-old posted one of the best starts to a season in Round Rock Express history. Alvarez became the fastest player in franchise history to hit his 20th home run, which came on May 22, just 41 games into the season. He is also the only player in Express franchise history to hit double-digit home runs in the month of April.
During his time in an E-Train uniform, Alvarez collected a team-leading 21 multi-hit games, including a pair of four-hit performances. He hit a team-high three home runs on April 6 against New Orleans. His 19 multi-RBI games also led all Express hitters. He drove in a career-high six RBI on May 16 against Nashville while also tallying a five RBI night on April 16 at Nashville.
Alvarez collected a bevy of awards during his short time with the Express. He took home PCL Player of the Week Honors for April 29 - May 5 before being named both the PCL and Houston Astros Minor League Player of the Month for April. He became the first Express player to earn a PCL Player of the Month award since C J.R. House in August 2006, just Round Rock's second season in the league.
The awards kept coming after Alvarez was promoted as he began his major league career by being named the AL Rookie of the Month for June, July and August. He also took home the MLB Players Association's AL Most Outstanding Rookie award and the Houston Chapter of the BBWAA's Astros Rookie of the Year award.
For more information on the Express, visit RRExpress.com or call (512) 255-2255. Keep up with the Express on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and join the conversation during our historic 20th season using #20STROng.