ROUND ROCK (KXAN) — Of all the big names the Astros have, Yordan Alvarez might be the next one.
It’s special, we’re talking about a player who is extremely talented,” Express manager Mickey Storey said. “You find yourself watching him pitch-for-pitch and just waiting for something special to happen, and it’s been happening more often than not. It’s impressive.”
Alvarez already has 19 home runs through the Express’ first 45 games. He leads the Pacific Coast League in batting average and slugging percentage.
“Everybody knows Yordan is doing something unrealistic,” Storey said.
“I’m just doing my job,” Alvarez said through a translator. “The funnest part of the game tends to be hitting home runs, so everything’s working out correctly.”
This is the second time Storey has worked with the native Cuban. The last time coming in 2017 with Single-A Buies Creek.
He had come from Quad Cities and the report we got from the guys there was, ‘You’re getting Babe Ruth,'” Storey remembered. “Just to see it now after a year off from seeing him has just been like, wow. This guy really molded himself into a special hitter.”
While comparisons to the Great Bambino might be a bit of a stretch, the numbers are eye popping — except for maybe Alvarez himself.
“I’m not surprised,” Alvarez said. “I’ve worked very hard for this, and now [I’m] just starting to reap the benefits of it.”
“I think it would be unfair to say we expect a hitter to hit over .400 with 20 homers and a 1.400 OPS at this point in the season,” Storey said. “To see him do it is not surprising. To see him do it for this amount of time this late in the season is a bit surprising.”
While it’s a foregone conclusion that Alvarez has a Major League future, the question now shifts to when, and how, he’ll crack Houston’s 25-man roster.
“We’re talking about a World Series-caliber team and a contender,” Storey said. “My job [is] just to keep him in it, just to keep him not frustrated. I just tell him, ‘Look, man, you know what’s on the horizon. You know you’re gonna play in the big leagues. Everyone here knows it. Don’t rush it. Don’t overthink it.'”
“Everyone knows that the Astros are stacked,” Alvarez said. “It’s just on me to keep doing my job.”
And right now, he’s been doing his job better than most anyone else in the minors.