Records are meant to be broken, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting when that breaking comes around.
On Monday, Houston Astros outfielder and designated hitter Yordan Alvarez did some record breaking. And while the record he broke is a tad bit arbitrary, it’s still representative of just how ridiculously good he’s been at baseball this year.
A double and a home run gave Alvarez a pair of runs batted in during Houston’s 11-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics.
Those two RBI gave Alvarez a total of 35 runs batted in in his career. That’s not a very big number, until you realize that Alvarez’s career spans just 30 games.
With 35 RBI in 30 games, Alvarez broke Albert Pujols’ prior record for most ribeyes in the first 30 games of a player’s career. Pujols had 34 RBI through 30 games during his rookie season in 2001.
With this 2B, Yordan Alvarez has set a new record for most RBI (35) in a player’s first 30 career games. pic.twitter.com/M5ygezo3w9— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) July 23, 2019
A supremely powerful left-handed slugger, the 22-year old Alvarez set the rookie record by doing a little bit of everything. He’s hit for average, with 40 and 15 walks in his first 133 plate appearances, good for a batting average of .342, and an on-base percentage of .421.
And he’s hit for power. Oh my goodness has he ever hit for power. In just 30 games, Alvarez already has 11 home runs and 10 doubles. More than half of his hits have been of the extra-base variety, something you don’t really see with batters whose averages are well into the 300s.
Put it all together, and Alvarez’s numbers are terrifyingly good. His slugging percentage is .709, making for an OPS of 1.130. His OPS+ is 193, and his wRC+ is 196, meaning he’s been nearly twice as good as the average hitter during his short career. He’s already been worth 1.7 fWAR and 1.6 rWAR.
And my oh my is he fun. Just look at some of these highlights:
Yordan. Alvarez. Wow.— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 20, 2019
Alvarez's 10th #MLB homer had a 112.2 mph exit velocity and went a ridiculous 474 feet, the longest #Astros' homer since @Statcast began tracking in 2015. pic.twitter.com/UOjeDHU23q
He’s established himself as a player worth watching, and thanks to his first 30 games, he’s now officially in the MLB record books.
And he’s established the nickname ‘Air Yordan,’ which, I mean . . . come on. That’s excellent.
Baseball is in good hands.