The Argument for Yordan Alvarez

No one doesn’t want Yordan Alvarez. He’ll be a low-third or high-fourth rounder in 2022 redraft leagues. This isn’t a binary buy-sell article on Alvarez in that we all know he’s good. But do we know how good he is?

Yordan Alvarez Career to Date
Season Age PA AVG OBP SLG xSLG ISO wOBA xwOBA wRC+ Barrel% HH%
2019 22 369 .313 .412 .655 .588 .342 .432 .405 176 16.30% 48.40%
2020 23 9 .250 .333 .625 .450 .375 .399 .358 158 0.00% 71.40%
2021 24 598 .277 .346 .531 .570 .253 .369 .389 138 15.90% 54.20%
Total 976 .290 .371 .577 .287 .393 153 15.90% 52.30%

Putting Alvarez’ first 976 PAs into context against other players with 750-plus PAs since 2019:

His SLG% ranks third, behind only Mike Trout and Fernando Tatis Jr. His wRC+ is tied for third. His wOBA ranks sixth. And he ranks seventh among hitters in barrel rate with 600-plus batted ball events.

Alvarez is somewhere in the top-ten among real-life hitters in MLB and will likely be toward the bottom of the top-20 among hitters in ADP. Houston is probably gonna keep getting on base a ton, with or without Carlos Correa, so the hitting in the middle of that order is gonna keep showing a profit. The profit that should make up for virtually no expected steals.

Alvarez has a history of injury, but I don’t really care about 25-year-old DH who just played a full season. Personally, I don’t even equate it.

His walk rate could be higher and strikeout rate is about fine. The team coaches contact, so there is room for growth on both ends. Even if the strikeout rate falls without the wall rate rising, we see in Alvarez’ elite barrel rate that contact is good for our purposes.

Alvarez’ .335 BABIP is really high, but I don’t really give a crap about that because he pulverizes the ball on contact so often. High BABIPs are usually ripe with good fortune, but there is such thing as a high quantity of high-quality contact. I’d bank more on his .369 wOBA in 2021 inches up closer to his .389 xwOBA because his quality of contact is so pure. And the super-raw, extremely early returns are agreeing with me out of the gate.

ATC has Alvarez 2022-projected wOBA at .385. THE BAT X at .382 and Steamer at .379.

Alvarez’ .570 xSLG% was far great than his .529 SLG%. ATC has him projected early at .557 for 2022, THE BAT X has .551, and the more conservative Steamer still has him boosted to .546 — .313-projected BABIP be damned.

Factoring in the bats around Alvarez boosting his run production — Jose Altuve the Everyman, a healthy Alex Bregman, the ageless Yuli Gurriel, the high power of Kyle Tucker, and the perpetual hitting efficiency of Michael Brantley — we should be projecting Alvarez as a top-12 fantasy hitter in redrafts and even higher in dynasty and keeper formats. He’s only turning 25 this season and without defense for fantasy or a speed-dependency on the table, he should age very well.

Alex Sonty is a professional DFS and poker player, while contributing to RotoGrinders and FanGraphs, as well as serving as a part-time political science professor in Chicago, IL. He’s been playing fantasy sports since 1996 and entered the DFS realm in 2014, currently playing high-stakes MLB and NFL cash games and GPPs. He is a Chicago Tribune and SB Nation alum, while holding a J.D./M.A. and L.L.M. from DePaul University.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

“…he should age very well.”

Yeah, I’m sure the track record of 230 lbs. 25-year olds with trashed knees is super great. Dude has decent chance of aging as well as a bowl of mayo left out in the sun.

2 years ago
Reply to  Sleepy

Ehh not saying I disagree, but he is also 6’5″. I have the same sort of idea of him, picturing him being huge. But 230lbs (probably generous) isn’t heavier than a lot of guys. Harper, Trout, Vlad, Perez, Eloy are all being drafted within 20 picks of him and all weigh about the same or more. Three of those guys are better hitters, but Alvarez is younger than 3 of them as well, and going later on ADP. I don’t think he is this huge injury risk people think he is and in the mid 20s with OF eligibility he feels like a solid pick if you plan for his lack of speed in an of spot.

2 years ago
Reply to  Sleepy

Nelson Cruz had no problem