The Astros have a history of making deals that years later look really bad for the other side in the deal. Of course the first deal I'm talking about was the 1990 trade with the Red Sox that brought Jeff Bagwell to Houston. The other deal? This one with the Dodgers in 2016.
The Dodgers have been a very big spender on international players in recent years, and in June of 2016 they signed Yordan Alvarez out of Cuba for a reported two million dollars. For whatever reason, the Dodgers thought it was a great idea to trade him before he ever played a game in their system, shipping to the Astros on this day in 2016 for Josh Fields who was pitching for the Astros Triple-A affiliate at the time, the Fresno Grizzlies.
This will likely forever be looked at as one of the worst trades in recent years in Major League Baseball. While Fields would pitch well over portions of the next two and a half years in the regular season for the Dodgers, he would help his former club in the 2017 World Series, by giving up these two extra innings homers in a wild and crucial game two win for Houston.
Alvarez would destroy pitchers at every level in the Astros system after the trade in 2016. At the age of 20, in his first full professional season in the United States, Yordan would split his time between the Astros two Single-A affiliates, hitting .304 in his 90 games, popping 12 home runs and driving in 69 runs in 2017. In 2018, Alvarez would split his time with Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Fresno, hitting .293 in his 88 games, mashing 20 home runs and driving in 74.
In 2019 he came to Spring Training in West Palm Beach and turned heads in his opportunities to play in the big league games that spring, putting him on the radar of many Astros fans. He would start the 2019 season with Triple-A Round Rock, playing in 56 games for the Express, hitting .343 at the plate with 23 home runs and 71 runs batted in.
He got the call to the big leagues on the 9th of June, making his debut that Sunday afternoon against the Baltimore Orioles. He would not wait long for his first big league hit and home run, picking both up in his second at-bat of the game.
Alvarez would crush Major League pitchers the rest of the season, becoming the third player in the history of the franchise to win the Rookie of the Year Award, joining Jeff Bagwell who won it in the National League in 1991 and Carlos Correa, who won it in the American League in 2015. Alvarez was the unanimous winner of the 2019 award in the American League. Here is what Alvarez did at the plate after being called up in 2019.
HR: 27 (Astros Rookie Record)