The good news about this particular post is that while we, as fans, can argue whether Yordan Alvarez or Kyle Tucker provide more value to the Astros, the team does not have to make that decision. Yet. Yet, because if both of these fine young players are still playing at a high level down the line, they both will hit free agency in the same off-season leading into the 2026 season. Now, that could be avoided by signing one or both to extensions along the way, but it could also set up a “choice” for the team at that time.
So, how do these two line up? Similarities? They are both left-handed hitters. They are both fairly stoic figures on the ball field. The broadcasters noted it when Tucker finally semi-smiled after a big hit last season. They are both 24 years old (Tucker about 5 months older), and they are both a big part of the Astros present and future plans.
Differences? Well, Yordan looks like an Adonis, a large sculpted mass of a human being, who could knock you down by just being in your vicinity. Kyle looks like one of those skin and bones lanky guys you meet in a friendly pick-up basketball game, who can drill the three-pointer, but gets easily boxed out on the rebounds. Yordan generates a super-powerful swing with a short address to the ball. Kyle has one of those longer looping with a bit of an uppercut swing. Tucker can move, though his long loping strides can be a bit deceiving at times. Yordan can move pretty decently (now his knees are repaired) for someone who should have his own zip code. Tucker got here by way of a fifth overall draft pick in 2015. The Dodgers signed Alvarez out of Cuba in the summer of 2016 but sent him to Houston six weeks later under the radar trade for reliever Josh Fields. Can you say Jeff Bagwell for Larry Andersen?
After Alvarez’s 2019 Rookie of the Year season, the question about relative value would not have been a real question. Alvarez set the world on fire in that half-season and was “Must See TV” throughout the year. Tucker had just finished his second cameo with the team, a much more successful one than his 2018 disaster, but still a small sample to judge his worth. But in 2020, Alvarez missed all but two games of the season, and Tucker established himself as a big-time run producer for the team. That has continued into 2021 as both Tucker and Alvarez have become big parts of a top-notch offense.
Comparing them for their careers…
Well, no doubt that Alvarez, to date in his career, is the dominant hitter, both in power and in just plain hitting. But if we look at 2021….
Looking at this season to date, the hitting gap between them has closed significantly, with Alvarez barely ahead. Pile unto this the fact that Tucker is rated highly as a right fielder. At the same time, Alvarez is barely passable as a part-time left fielder and the fact that Tucker is a stolen base threat (23 steals against only 3 caught stealing in his career), and Tucker is the better player in 2021.
So, a couple questions for you….
- Who do you think is the better long-term player for the Astros?
- Would you try to work out an early extension with either of them to buy out a year or two of free agency? Which one? Both?
And I apologize for no new post today. I am under the gun at work and not feeling the Muse much today on a post I started about the two trades. I think it is because I figure the moment I finish it – there will be a third trade.
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Hold out for that third trade!
I think the Astros will stay under the luxury tax line, in order to reset themselves up for the future. They need to get themselves back into the draft to replenish their farm system.
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I thought this was interesting from the Thursday results:
The Rays shut out the Yankees, 14-0.
The Royals shut out the White Sox, 5-0.
The Giants shut out the Dodgers, 5-0.
The Brewers shut out the Pirates, 12-0.
The Athletics shut out the Angels, 4-0.
The Padres shut out the Rockies, 3-0.
The Red Sox were being shut out by the Blue Jays, 13-0, until Boston scored the final run of the game.
THE MOST LIKELY ‘THIRD TRADE’ SCENARIO FOR OUR STROS
Alex Bregman is now 0-8 with two walks in his rehab stint with the Skeeters. At least he hasn’t struck out.
Josh James is still giving up too many hits and walks each outing to get excited about his return to the big club.
Pedro Baez? not much action at Sugar Land so far.
Still, each of these could be back in the fold within a couple of weeks – as we trade a few of our players with the Skeeters.
THAT WAS ONE CRAZY TRADE DEADLINE!
Wow! The 2 leading teams in the NL East and the top 3 in the NL West should leave a lot of debris in their paths to the playoffs!
The AL? The White Sox and Blue Jays both got way better. The Athletics got significantly better. The Astros and the Red Sox filled some holes.
Mr. Bill – I think it runs until 3 PM central time – so there may be even more happening….
So . . . do the Cubs, Nationals, and Rangers keep on playing against major league teams, or do they just forfeit every game through the end of, say, 2023?
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With just five minutes left til the deadline the Astros have traded for HOF pitcher Cy Old.
Truly, the Astros just traded Myles Straw to the Guardians for a relief pitcher.
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Phil Maton – who does strike out a lot of guys, but also walks a lot.
No more ‘I can C-4 Myles’ jokes. Was that Chaz McCormick singing John Fogerty’s classic ‘Look at me . . . gotta be … in centerfield’.
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I love that song, Bill!
Sorry, Chaz. Say hello to Jake the Second.
I do think we will see Jake Meyers.
As Carole King once famously inquired:
‘Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore?’
Jake Kaplan tweets Jake Meyers is being called up from AAA to the majors.
A tweet from Jake about Jake? Good call OP.
Meyers slashing .343 BA/.408 OBP/ 1.006 OPS with 16 HRs/ 51 RBIs/10 SBs
The Astros also received a very good hitting young catcher in the deal for Myles Straw. Perhaps might have been the key player in this deal for Houston.
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That makes a bit more sense
‘Young’ should be emphasized in discussions about Yanier Diaz. He’s 22, in his fifth year of professional baseball, and has never played above A ball. And while he hits for a good BA [minor career .326/.358/.821, he doesn’t hit for much power [yet, at least] – 15 HRs in his five-year career (5 this year) in 764 at bats.
He’s young compared to us, you sassy whippersnapper!
Truer words were never spoken, OP1!
Phil Maton’s actual MLB nickname is “Spin Rate”. That tells me a lot.
Paging Dr. Strom!
Over his last 7 games, Chaz is just 2 for 14 [a .143 BA], with no HRs, no RBIs, 1 BB, and 8Ks. In other words, he is in the middle of what looks like his first MLB slump. Hopefully, the prospect of more regular playing time will be the tonic he needs to start hitting more consistently again.
Toro as with Straw, once they were given playing time consistently for several weeks and weren’t blocked, flourished. Same holds true for McCormick.
In Dec of 2019, I wrote Meyers would be our CF in 2021, before I knew we’d re-sign Brantley, and had that much confidence in Straw.
“LF in 2021 McCormick Alvarez
CF Straw Meyers McKenna
RF Tucker McCormick.”
Since De la Cruz didn’t get swiped in R5, and Meyers is due in ’20, I’d side with Meyers first.” -Full Season Rosters, Jan 11, 2020
“I think our best defensive CF is Jake Meyers.” – Astros Top 30 Prospects, Mar 9, 2020
I’m proud of all these guys. Straw was a 12th round JUCO who fetched us a playoff arm and a prodigious powered catcher.
It also looks like with the trade of De La Cruz, he will debut before Pedro Leon. They laughed when I wrote that last year, too.
Myles sure must be bummed out this afternoon. He might not get back to the post season for awhile. Diaz sure has hit in the low minors and must have a good arm. He throws guys out. Unless the Astros think they’ve got a quick fix for Maton, I don’t understand the acquisition of another righty that walks too many guys.
I would pay attention to how the Astros fared in Maton’s four appearances against them in the month of July. I mean, the best way to scout a guy is to have him pitch against your team and then talk to your players and coaches.
On the flip side, maybe the Guardians told the Astros they wanted Straw. The Astros might have countered with: You throw in Diaz and we’ll do the deal.
Also, The Astros still have Brantley, Tucker, Yordan, McCormick, Meyers and Aledmys as outfielders under contract for next year. They are set there.
I’m fine with losing Myles. He was not a long term solution. The experts are much smarter than me. And I really like the 1.5 K’s per inning from Maton.
What is it with Gausman rocking and not coming to a complete 1 count halt?
Umpire is now Gausmans best friend. Altuve gets hosed on 2 pitches.
I love both of these guys. Surprised Tucker didn’t have the edge though.