Astros Alvarez brings home Rookie of the Year honor

Astros Alvarez brings home Rookie of the Year honor
Houston Astros (Source: Houston Astros)

From MLB Communications -

HOUSTON, TX - The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) announced the winners of the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award tonight, naming Astros outfielder Yordan Alvarez American League Rookie of the Year by a unanimous vote.

Alvarez, who debuted on June 9, hit .313 (98x313) with 26 doubles, 27 home runs, 78 RBI and a 1.067 OPS in his 87 games in 2019. Among AL rookies (min 350 PA), Alvarez ranked first in on-base percentage (.412), slugging percentage (.655) and OPS, while ranking second in home runs, batting average, RBI, walks (52), and fourth in runs scored.

Alvarez becomes just the third player in franchise history to win the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award, joining first baseman Jeff Bagwell, who won the National League award in 1991 and shortstop Carlos Correa, who won the American League award in 2015. He also becomes the fourth Cuban native to win the Rookie of the Year, joining José Canseco (1986), José Fernández (1999) and Jose Abreu (2014).

This award, in which Alvarez topped AL finalists Brandon Lowe and John Means, gives Alvarez a clean sweep of the major rookie awards this offseason, as he has already been named the Sporting News AL Rookie of the Year and the MLBPA Players Choice Award for the AL Most Outstanding Rookie.

The 22-year old set the franchise rookie record with 27 home runs in a single season, topping Correa’s record of 22 set during his 2015 rookie season. Alvarez’s outstanding rookie season also included him setting Astros rookie records for OPS, on-base percentage and slugging percentage (min 350 PA). He also recorded the second-most RBI by a rookie in club history behind Bagwell’s 82 RBI in 1981. His .313 batting average was the third-best by an Astros rookie (min 350 PA), behind only Hunter Pence (.322 in 2007) and Greg Gross (.314 in 1974).

The Cuban-born outfielder was named the AL Rookie of the Month for June, July and August becoming the first player in franchise history to win three consecutive Rookie of the Month awards, and the first MLB player to do so since Aaron Judge from April-June of 2017. Alvarez set a Major League record for RBI in a player’s first 45 games with 51 surpassing Ted Williams record of 47 set in 1939. He also set a Major League record for RBI within a player’s first 30 games with 35 RBI, surpassing Albert Pujols record of 34 in 2001. Alvarez also established the Major League record for OPS by a rookie in a single season (min 350 PA), surpassing Shoeless Joe Jackson’s record of 1.058 set in 1911.

Alvarez’s success continued into October, as he hit three doubles over the first four games of the ALDS, marking the most doubles by an Astros player within his first four career postseason games in franchise history. He also became the third-youngest player in Astros history to start a postseason game (22 years, 99 days) trailing only Correa (21 in 2015) and Richard Hidalgo (22 years, 94 days in 1997). Alvarez smacked a two-run homer in Game 5 of the World Series, becoming the youngest Cuban-born player to homer in the World Series and the fourth-youngest American League player to homer in the World Series. In the postseason, Alvarez hit .316 (6x19) in the ALDS, slumped in the ALCS, but recovered to hit .412 (7x17) in the World Series with a 1.112 OPS.

Alvarez was one of four Astros finalists for BBWAA Awards as right-hander pitchers Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander are finalists for the AL Cy Young Award and third baseman Alex Bregman is a finalist for the AL MVP. The winner of the remaining BBWAA awards will be announced live on MLB Network this week with the Manager of the Year announced tomorrow (Nov. 12), the Cy Young on Wednesday (Nov. 13) and the Most Valuable Player on Thursday (Nov. 14).

Houston has picked up two national BBWAA awards in the same year just twice in club history. In 1986, Mike Scott won the Cy Young and Hal Lanier won the Manager of the Year. In 2015, Correa won the Rookie of the Year and Dallas Keuchel won the Cy Young. The last time any Major League team had three individuals win three of the four BBWAA awards in a single season was in 1993 when the White Sox were represented by Gene Lamont (Manager of the Year), Jack McDowell (Cy Young) and Frank Thomas (MVP).