Was Yordan Alvarez indeed called up? Allow me to clear things up. He’s not. At least not yet. Despite leading AAA in home runs (14) and runs batted in (44) and boasting a .398 batting average, Yordan Alvarez appears no closer to Houston than the next Astros prospect. Speaking of Astros’ prospects, there’s also the problem of Kyle Tucker, who is a more heralded prospect. Unlike Alvarez, however, Tucker is having a rather mediocre start to 2019. He has hit a fair share of homers, but that’s about it. Considering Tucker already struck out in his first taste of the Majors, I’d say Yordan has the edge should a need arise on the Astros roster. And that brings us to the real problem. The Astros roster. In order to get Alvarez on it with regular playing time they’d have to expose either Tyler White, Max Stassi or Tony Kemp to waivers and I don’t believe they are ready to do so. Couple that with the fact that the Astros offense is near the top of many categories, there just isn’t a place for Yordan Alvarez. Sadly, many (myself included) see mid to late June as a more realistic timeline for a call up. For what it’s worth, I stashed him two weeks ago. Hopefully we are all wrong and he’s up sooner.
Today feels like a good day to make some bold predictions. I never did so in the preseason, but right now might allow them to be a bit less bold than had I done so then given that I have about six and a half weeks of stats/data on which to base my predictions.
Joey Gallo will lead the Majors in home runs with 48 home runs. Not all that bold. Perhaps I should have just said predictions. And perhaps I should stick to points related predictions (PRPs).
Once again Nick Markakis will finish a solid contributor in points leagues. I feel like I write about him every year and every year he gets little to no respect.
Carlos Correa is not a top five shortstop. That’s not a 2019 prediction, that’s a general comment. In fact, he’s barely a top ten shortstop. Sure, he had a very good rookie season in 2015 where he scored 284 points in 99 games (0.66 PPPA), but since then it’s been a combination of disappointment and injury. In 2016 he scored 377 points in 660 plate appearances (0.57 PPPA). Then in 2017 he bounced back, totaling 362 points in 481 (0.75). But in 2018 he dropped to 243 in 468 (0.52). Now many will say injuries have plagued him the last two years and that he’s still only 24 years young. While this all might be true, there are just too many other better/more viable options at shortstop. Year-to-date Correa has 90 points in 145 plate appearances (0.62 PPPA).
Three players have a points per plate appearance greater than 1. Two are obvious. Yelich and Bellinger. The third surprises even me. In 77 plate appearances Hunter Pence has 86 points. Hunter who? He hasn’t been fantasy relevant in over five years. He also hasn’t been healthy in about that long as well. The dude is 36 years old and an IL frequent flyer, but I thought I’d give him a shout out.
It seems that as long as Derek Dietrich is active then he should be in your lineup. He has only started 20 of his team’s 36 games, but so far this season he has 88 points in 92 chances (0.95 PPPA).
Tommy La Stella falls into a similar boats as Dietrich.
David Fletcher has more points than Andrew Benintendi, Paul Goldschmidt (he’s really taking a hit today), Manny Machado, J.T. Realmuto and Gleyber Torres. The list could go on, but you get the point. I mean Fletcher gets the point. His 0.71 PPPA puts him somewhere between Javier Baez (0.72) and Jose Abreu (0.69).
Alex Gordon is going to be on the roster of a lot of championship teams. I just heard him credit a lot of his recent success to a new, smaller bat. I guess size does matter!
For those ready to sound the alarms with respect to Vladimir Guerrero Jr, you all need to pump the brakes. I realize his performance thus far has been lackluster (to say the least), but we are talking about one of (if not the) best prospects in many many years. Not every prospect (even the best) are going to hit the ground running immediately after being called up. Cut him some slack. A lot of slack. Let him ride the pine. Trade him in redraft leagues. But for the love of dogs, remember who he is before doing anything drastic.
I am currently working on a customizable rest of season projections/rankings spreadsheet. Hope to have that available sooner than later. In the meantime, enjoy Game of Thrones. Are there more dragons? What was Drogon doing during season five? Is Tyrion a Targaryen? How is it that my spell checker knows how to spell Targaryen? Who kills Cersei? So many questions. So little time to answer them all.
Follow malamoney on Twitter at @malamoney