Part of having long-term success as an organization is having young players put together breakout seasons alongside your reliable veterans. However, people who have breakout years don’t always maintain their success from season to season. The Houston Astros have a pair of young sluggers who are definitely carrying their success from their breakout seasons in 2019 and 2020 to the 2021 season. This pair is Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker, and they are proving that their breakout seasons were no fluke.
The Rise of Yordan Alvarez
Alvarez had a meteoric rise in 2019 like few others. He was the unanimous AL Rookie of the Year despite playing in only 87 games. It is pretty easy to see why, because what he did was incredible. As a 22-year old, he slashed .313/.412/.655 with 53 extra base hits and 78 RBI. After a rookie year like that, expectations were sky-high going into year two. Unfortunately for Alvarez and the Astros, he was limited to just two games due to knee surgery. However, Alvarez has picked up where he left off in 2019.
The Astros lineup is as loaded as it has ever been in 2021 and yet it is 24-year old Alvarez who leads the team in RBI with 77. While not quite at the level of his 2019 season, he still sports an impressive slashline: .287/.351/.521. He is approaching career highs in nearly every category. Though the young slugger has mostly been a DH in his early career, he has made 26 appearances in left field this season.
Overall, Alvarez has had a historic start to his big league career. Entering Friday, he has played 193 games. He is slashing .298/.379/.581 with 100 extra base hits, 50 of them home runs. He has proven to be quite the RBI machine, driving in 159 runs. Alvarez has been an offensive force and so has Tucker.
Kyle Tucker’s Offensive Prowess
Tucker entered the league in 2018, but he didn’t get regular at-bats until 2020 and he certainly made the most of those AB’s. 2020 was a year where multiple Astros players had down years but Tucker was not one of them. Outside of Michael Brantley, Tucker may have been the most consistent of them all. In the shortened season, he posted a .268/.325/.512 slashline. He had 27 extra base hits, 42 RBI, and eight stolen bases, all tops on the team.
The outfielder once again finds himself at the top or just off the top in most offensive categories in the Astros lineup. Tucker’s slashline has improved in each aspect between the seasons, it currently rests at .272/334/.519. His 48 extra base hits are first on the team. His 22 homers, 71 RBI, and 11 steals all rank second.
In 211 career games, Tucker has a slugging percentage of .490. He has 88 extra base hits and he has driven in 128 runs. He has shown that he has a great combination of power and speed. The 24-year old has 35 career homers and 25 career steals. He has only been caught stealing three times in his young career.
Astros Bright Future
The reason Houston has stood among the leagues best for as long as they have is because they have a good eye for young talent. They then develop that young talent, which eventually makes an impact at the Major League level. With Alvarez and Tucker in the middle of the order for years to come, the Astros future may be as bright as their present.
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