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2021 Marlins Season Review: Eddy Alvarez

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The inspiring Olympian found his way back to the Majors in 2021.

MLB: New York Mets at Miami Marlins Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

While what he gave the Marlins in on-field performance this season wasn’t anything memorable, Eddy Alvarez continued to be among the better feel-good stories in sports.

2021 Timeline

  • January 3: Re-signs with Miami, agreeing to a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training.
  • August 7: Team USA loses Gold Medal game against Japan, taking Silver in 2020 Summer Olympics.
  • September 7: Promoted from AAA Jacksonville.
  • September 11: Hits first career home run.
  • October 21: Outrighted off Marlins 40-man roster and elects free agency.

By the Numbers

At the Major League level, Alvarez’s 2021 season was all of 74 plate appearances across 24 games. The 31-year-old raked in sporadic minor league play (.320/.449/.500), but hit a more modest .188/.297/.328 following his call-up.

Alvarez seldom played professional baseball due to his commitment to compete in the delayed 2020 Summer Olympics, where he became just the third American to earn a medal at both the Winter and Summer Games. The Miami native previously competed in the 2014 Winter Olympics, taking a Silver medal in speedskating. Needless to say, medaling in those two particular sports was unprecedented.

Baseball Savant data is limited on Alvarez, though he did prove to be an above-average runner, finishing in the 73rd percentile in sprint speed. The distance of his lone homer was estimated at an impressive 418 feet.

During his 2020 debut, one of Alvarez’s weaknesses proved to be his ability to handle breaking stuff, hitting .091 (1-for-11) with a .182 slugging percentage. It was more of the same this time around for Alvarez: he managed just .077 (1-for-13) with a .154 slug.

Defensively, Alvarez saw extended time at third base. The Marlins even demoted Isan Díaz to clear the path for him to get semi-regular starts there.

Highlights

Will Alvarez Be Back?

As great a story as he continues to be, Eddy Alvarez seeing substantial time on Miami’s roster in 2022 would be indicative of an offseason of unfulfilled promises. The club’s infield depth was insufficient this season, which should mean pursuing players with more extensive track records than Alvarez or greater upside.

Once again a free agent, Alvarez can negotiate with all the other MLB teams or perhaps consider foreign leagues that are willing to offer him a larger role and compensation.

Regardless of where Alvarez goes from here, he has already impacted the Marlins organization for the better.