Report: Astros Recalling Top Prospect Yordan Alvarez from Triple-A; Has 23 HRs

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2019

In this May 7, 2019 photo, Round Rock designated hitter Yordan Alvarez, who leads the Triple A league with 13 home runs, swings for the ball. The new official Triple A league baseball is now the same as the big-league ball. It is said to be harder, more tightly wound at its core and with slightly lower seams, all of which make it more aerodynamic than the ball used at the Double A level and lower and previously in Triple A. As of May 8, 2019, home runs in Triple A were up 64 percent over a comparable period in 2018 (1,202 homers vs. 732), according to figures MLB provided to The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Nati Harnik/Associated Press

The Houston Astros are calling up outfielder Yordan Alvarez ahead of Sunday's game against the Baltimore Orioles, according to The Athletic's Jake Kaplan.

Alvarez, whom MLB.com ranks as the No. 3 prospect in Houston's system and the No. 23 prospect in all of baseball, leads the Pacific Coast League with 23 home runs.

He is slashing .343/.443/.742 and has a 1.184 OPS in 56 games at Triple-A Round Rock this season. He currently ranks seventh in the PCL in batting average and third in on-base percentage and OPS.

This marks Alvarez's first promotion to the big leagues, though the 21-year-old has gotten his feet wet during spring training. He hit .265 with zero home runs, three doubles and seven RBI in 49 at-bats during this year's camp.

The 6'5", 225-pound slugger's power has been on display early and often throughout the 2019 campaign. He hit three home runs in his second game of the season, and he has not gone more than nine games this year without going yard. Since snapping that nine-game drought at the beginning of the month, he has homered in three of his past five appearances.

As Kaplan noted, Alvarez is best utilized as a designated hitter, though he has experience at first base and at both of the corner spots in the outfield. His call-up comes as the club is without second baseman Jose Altuve (hamstring), shortstop Carlos Correa (rib) and outfielder George Springer (hamstring).

Houston ranks sixth in the majors in runs scored. However, while the Astros have averaged 5.1 runs per game this season, they are putting up 4.2 runs per game over their last 20 contests and have been held to four runs or fewer 12 times during that span.