Alvarez just debuted last season, which went down as an AL Rookie of the Year-winning campaign, so he’s not eligible to reach arbitration or free agency in the near future. As such, Houston – which, thanks to its sign-stealing scandal from 2017, has far bigger fish to fry at the moment – doesn’t have to worry about losing Alvarez any time soon. However, barring an extension, Alvarez figures to consider making a case for rich arbitration paydays over the next couple years.
Although his career’s only 87 games old, Alvarez already looks like one of the premier hitters in baseball. The 22-year-old stepped to the plate 369 times in 2019 and batted a video game-like .313/.412/.655 with 27 home runs. Among those who amassed at least 350 PA, just one hitter – the venerable Mike Trout – outdid Alvarez’s 178 wRC+.
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