Today we return to a long time favorite post established by the founder of the feast, as it were, Chip Bailey. It is called free blog weekend, and as it implies, it features the mental fancies of all our commenters here on the blog taking the conversation anywhere they wish to go.
Per the normal for the free weekend blog, I will toss out a topic to get things started (if needed), but you are not fenced in by this suggestion.
Are we seeing the real Yordan Alvarez this year?
It is really spoiled to say that Alvarez’s 2021 was a disappointment when he scored 92 runs, hit 33 homers, knocked in 104 runs and had an outstanding .277 BA/ .346 OBP/ .877 OPS. But remember, in the 87 games of his 2019 Rookie of the Year campaign, he slashed a breathtaking.313 BA / .412 OBP/ 1.067 OPS with 58 runs scored, 27 HRs and 78 RBIs in only 313 ABs. If you project those numbers to the 537 ABs he had in 2021, you would be looking at 99 runs, 46 HRs, and 134 RBIs.
Of course, the best explanation was the knee injuries he suffered that wiped out his 2020 season. He came back, but he was likely holding back a bit or even dealing with some healing in a very good but not transcendent 2021.
Flash forward to 2022, and riding a recent hot streak, he is trending back towards the pace he was on back in 2019. His .271 BA/ .377 OBP/ .992 OPS is a bit behind his 2019 pace, but remember that offense is down across the board, and his slash would be just a bit behind his ROY season if they were not using a whiffle ball in 2022. His 19 runs, 10 HRs, and 19 RBIs in 31 games (only 27 of which he’s played) would factor up to 99 runs, 50 HRs, and 99 RBIs. And who knows where he would be without the games missed to the COVID scare he had.
He is running very well this year (except when he thinks he hit a walk-off home run that falls a little short), and he is starting to flash a very good glove for such a huge man. His arm is solid too.
Will he threaten the Astros team record for home runs in a season, Jeff Bagwell‘s 47 in 2000? It feels like a matter of time before Yordan takes that crown from Bagwell. Meanwhile, his at bats are definitely Must See TV here in Houston.
So, your turn to either pile on the Alvarez discussion train or set a trail for yourself. Talk among yourselves.