Yadier Alvarez
22-Year-Old PitcherRP
Los Angeles Dodgers AA
2018 Fantasy Outlook
A year ago, Alvarez looked like one of the best pitching prospects in the game. He isn’t injured, and the stuff didn’t decline, but he now looks more likely to end up as a high-end reliever than a high-end starter. Command is important, even when the stuff is electric, and Alvarez walked 50 batters in 92.1 innings between High-A and Double-A. He logged five or more innings in just eight of his 21 appearances, and fair or not, the rate at which Cuban pitchers come over and develop into quality starters is incredibly low. While his slider and changeup will flash plus potential, they lack consistency. Combine that lack of consistency with his inability to locate, and it’s impossible to predict what Alvarez will bring from start to start. He still has a projectable 6-foot-3 frame and 98 mph gas, so he will continue to be developed as a starter for now. But the time may soon come when the Dodgers choose the path of least resistance. After all, go ask last year’s team how important bullpen depth is in the postseason. Read Past Outlooks
Lands on DL
PLos Angeles Dodgers  AA
Groin
May 7, 2018
Alvarez was placed on the 7-day disabled list Sunday at Double-A Tulsa due to a left groin strain.
ANALYSIS
Once viewed as one of the top starting pitching prospects in the lower minors, Alvarez has seen his stock plummet over the last year after his command took a major turn for the worse during his age-21 season. Prior to sustaining the injury, the hard-throwing Alvarez had only seen his performance suffer further in his second taste of the Double-A level, as he posted a 5.87 ERA, 2.02 WHIP and 17:20 K:BB in 15.1 innings. The groin strain probably isn't anything significant enough to alter Alvarez's long-term outlook, but his continued struggles when healthy have made it more and more likely that the right-hander will eventually be converted to a relief role.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
Alvarez has yet to pitch above Low-A, but he already demonstrates all of the qualities one looks for in a future ace. He has an 80-grade fastball, plus curveball, above-average changeup and average slider. The three secondary pitches all have the projection to jump a grade in the coming years, which would leave him with a monstrous repertoire. Alvarez also has prototypical size and athleticism. He pitched as a 20-year-old at 6-foot-3, 175 pounds, but he should add a bit more muscle to that frame by the time he reaches the majors. Poor control was a bit of an issue in his first five professional starts in the Arizona League, but he posted a quality 6.9 percent walk rate after a promotion to the Midwest League, while also upping his strikeout rate from 32.1 percent to 34.6 percent against more advanced hitters. He will receive an assignment to the California League, with the stuff and polish to move quickly and finish the year as a top-10 prospect in the game.
Not a whole lot is known about Alvarez, the 19-year-old Cuban power right-hander the Dodgers inked to a $16 million contract in July, but what is known is tantalizing. An upper-90s fastball, above-average slider, and developing changeup highlight what could be a frontline arsenal. Alvarez stands 6-foot-3 and is listed at 175 pounds, a frame that will certainly fill out as he gets into a major league conditioning program. Since signing, he has been working out at the Dodgers academy in the Dominican Republic. He will likely join the club in Arizona for spring training and will spend the 2016 season in the lower levels of the minors. There could be some developmental bumps initially, but he also has the upside to be one of the biggest risers up prospect lists if he has initial stateside success.
More Fantasy News
Walks an issue since promotion to Double-A
PLos Angeles Dodgers  AA
August 31, 2017
Alvarez, 21, has a 4.00 ERA and 29:23 K:BB in 27 innings since being promoted to Double-A Tulsa.
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Promoted to Double-A
PLos Angeles Dodgers  AA
July 20, 2017
Alvarez was promoted to Double-A Tulsa on Thursday, Eric Stephen of SB Nation reports.
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Trying to find way at High-A
PLos Angeles Dodgers  AA
July 9, 2017
Alvarez, 21, has a 5.37 ERA and 56:23 K:BB through 55.1 innings for High-A Rancho Cucamonga.
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Inconsistency at High-A
PLos Angeles Dodgers  AA
June 1, 2017
Alvarez, 21, has a 5.87 ERA and 32:16 K:BB through 30.2 innings for High-A Rancho Cucamonga.
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Assigned to High-A
PLos Angeles Dodgers  AA
April 17, 2017
Alvarez was assigned Monday to High-A Rancho Cucamonga, Sam Dykstra of MiLB.com reports.
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