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Astros’ AL-tuve: One of the best in the AL


Amidst all the angst about a very slow start by the Astros, the story of Jose Altuve‘s start has been almost taken for granted.

Even after a rare 0 for 4 in Friday’s win over the Mariners, the mighty mites’ production to date has been outstanding. Look at the following stats through May 6th:

Category To date On a pace for Rank in AL
BA .319 NA 6th
OBP .409 NA 2nd
OPS 1.073 NA 1st
Runs scored 28 151 2nd
Hits 38 205 2nd
2Bs 14 76 1st
HRs 9 49 T 1st
SBs 10 54 1st

It is not surprising he is also leading the league in total bases. Is he likely to lead the league in home runs or break the record for doubles (67)? Probably not. But it has been obvious that at least for the moment, the top Astro has added a new tool to his tool box – patience. He has never taken more than 40 walks in a season and he is on pace for 81 this year. He has been forcing the pitchers to come to him much more often than in the past. The results have been stunning and immediate.

A few questions for you to consider:

  1. After an off-season coronation of wunderkind Carlos Correa, has Altuve stolen the king’s crown back?
  2. Is this just a hot streak or something sustainable?
  3. Is Jose already the greatest player 5-5 or shorter ever in the game?
  4. Is a 30/30 season a real possibility for him?
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About Dan P

Dan Peschong is a full time engineer and a long time Astros lover from the days of Joe Morgan to the days of Jose Altuve.

55 comments on “Astros’ AL-tuve: One of the best in the AL

  1. daveb7
    May 7, 2016

    Altuve is a future Hall of Famer. I think Correa will also become that player, but he’s not there yet. He made it look so easy last year that I think sometimes our expectations are too high for the 22 year old. The key with Altuve is in remaining selective. We’ve been lamenting that one weakness from him for a few years now. But the answer is yes, it is sustainable if he remains patient at the plate and embraces a walk if that is all that is given to him.

    Like

  2. drbill14
    May 7, 2016

    I’m not sure where I saw it but there was an article on Domingo Santana talking about the speed of the ball off his bat and how much it had improved this year. Nestled in the stats was the fact that Altuve’s batted ball speed had increased almost 10 mph! That is a huge increase reflecting in the big power jump to all fields. My goodness, the other night he hit a ball halfway up Tal’s Hill.

    After the 2014 season the Astros put together a video composite of each of his 230 hits. Much was made of his ability to hit pitches well out of the strike zone but the balls he clearly hit the hardest were in the strike zone. By being more selective he is hitting the ball harder and not getting himself out on pitcher’s pitches. I think it also helps that he probably trusts Springer, Correa and Rasmus hitting behind him to drive him in. And bear in mind that today is just his 26th birthday! He can probably get better. Time to extend him to 2025.

    Like

  3. 1oldpro
    May 7, 2016

    Altuve has the second highest WAR of all position players in baseball, 2.0
    Altuve has the highest wRC+ of all position players in baseball, 202, the only player above 200.
    The most amazing stat. Jose Altuve is the unluckiest of all major league leading hitters, by far, because his BABIP is .309 and every other leading hitter has a BABIP over .360. When they start to fall, he will be still rising because .309 BABIP is his career low! His career BABIP is .330.
    Altuve is the best hitter in baseball right now. Period. Combine that with a gold glove, combined with his size, and you have the best player in baseball.
    Now, when you talk about an extension, that is not a word to just throw around. If you want to pay the best second baseman in baseball long term, you had better be willing to make his salary up there with Cano, because he is 26 and Cano is 33. He is underpaid and Cano is overpaid. It is going to be a major job getting Altuve to resign, especially if this ball club keeps screwing up and making stupid trades and signings. He is going to want to play on a winner.

    Like

  4. daveb7
    May 7, 2016

    That .309 BABIP is a great stat 1OP. I also like the .400 plus OBP. I really think he’s getting it. And it does not hurt that Correa has shown up and gotten so much press. Altuve, so far anyway, has taken his game to the next level.

    But indeed, he’ll likely never win an MVP playing for a crappy team. He’ll take that big contract from somewhere that gives him the best chance to win.

    Like

  5. Dan P
    May 7, 2016

    I love listening to you folks – I always learn something.
    – daveb – Yes I believe Correa will be that guy too – you can see with him hitting a couple out the other way that he is coming around right now
    – old pro – great stat on how Altuve is doing this despite below average luck
    – dr bill – wow 10 mph increase is a ton and you are exactly right on why

    Like

  6. 1oldpro
    May 7, 2016

    His BABIP is #90 among all qualified MLB batters. None of the other leaders had a batting title in 2014 and a season of hitting.315 in 2015. This guy is the real deal. We have one of the best players of our time on our team. Are we going to waste him with constant underperformance by this organization. Crane really needs to look at this team with a keen eye and figure out whether the most extreme tear down and rebuild job of modern baseball times is going to work or if he can find a real baseball genius to finish the job.
    Is Luhnow a fabulous GM or is he the David Martinez of GMs, great in AA but not able to keep winning when he gets to the big league level?

    Like

  7. Kevin
    May 7, 2016

    What if the lame FO pulled him aside today and said we want to re work your deal. 6 years 80 million does he take it?

    Like

    • daveb7
      May 7, 2016

      He’ll get far more if he’s patient.

      Like

    • 1oldpro
      May 7, 2016

      Now, wait a minute. If that is to replace his current deal, say starting next season, that is a really fair offer for him and for the club. It gives him a lot more money for the three years they have him under contract after 2016, and then three years after that they would get a really good price for his services. It would be a win for him first and then a win for the club after that.
      The Astros have options on him thru the 2019 season, so replacing his current 3/$17mil deal with a 6/$80 mill means they would actually be paying him $63 million for those last three years. That really is good money ans it would be guaranteed, not optioned. It would be a fair deal for both parties, I think.

      Like

      • Kevin
        May 7, 2016

        Thats what I was thinking. It would take him to 32, and might get one more good deal!

        Like

      • daveb7
        May 7, 2016

        That’s 21 a year for those three prime years of his career. There are guys making more than that right now without the stats. And what if this organization keeps floundering? He’s stuck.

        Like

      • Tim
        May 8, 2016

        Dave,

        He’s not stuck. Players are almost always going to take the guaranteed security and the Astros, despite having a down year, aren’t set up for years of mediocrity. I agree with OP1 that this is a fair deal for both sides and I think Altuve really likes playing in Houston.

        Is Ryan Braun and Mike Trout regretting their extensions? Do they feel like they’re stuck? I doubt it as they are getting paid well albeit for poor teams. Now, at least the Brewers have a decent future ahead of them, but the Angels are going to be bad for several more years.

        Like

      • daveb7
        May 8, 2016

        Tim, I sure hope you’re right. But we don’t even know if Altuve has already quietly turned down a new deal. Guaranteed security? I don’t know. I suppose most players would take the security. Springer did not. Even Robbie Grossman didn’t. We don’t know what it’s like to play for this organization. And Correa has already indicated that he’s not married to Houston. I think we need to become a more credible organization before we can count on guys wanting to stay here. The Keuchel deal is a good sign. But maybe his arm is tired and that’s why he can’t top 88 on the gun and that’s why he signed the extension!

        Like

  8. Kevin
    May 7, 2016

    Maybe 80 million birds in the hand.

    Like

  9. Kevin
    May 7, 2016

    What Altuve a night off Oh MY

    Like

    • Dan P
      May 7, 2016

      Yeah I write about him and knock him out of the lineup…..

      Like

  10. Kevin
    May 7, 2016

    Wow we look so bad tonight at the plate and really starting to worry about Kuechel

    Like

    • Mr. Bill
      May 7, 2016

      We need to start bunting. Swinging against that knuckle curve is not working so well for these guys.

      Like

  11. Kevin
    May 7, 2016

    I know a lot of us watched Carlos Gomez when he used to rake against us in the NL. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone just completely loose his batting skill set this bad. It’s like he has never played before, it’s insane.

    Like

  12. Mr. Bill
    May 7, 2016

    it is a good thing Margo got that hit early. It doesn’t look like our guys have a clue what to do with Karnes’ knuckle curve. They have no game plan at all. That is on the hitting coach.

    Like

  13. Kevin
    May 7, 2016

    Help me out here we lost both out Hitting coaches last year , right? Then we hired the hitting coach the mets kicked to curb?

    Like

  14. Billy Castillo
    May 7, 2016

    Beautiful bunt single by MarGo

    Like

  15. Billy Castillo
    May 7, 2016

    Great at bat by Correa!

    Hopefully this is the start of the rally…

    Like

  16. Kevin
    May 7, 2016

    Wahoo Colby jack has awoke from his slumber

    Like

    • Billy Castillo
      May 7, 2016

      He looked locked-in the whole at bat.

      Like

  17. Billy Castillo
    May 7, 2016

    Prediction…Gomez will be released by the All Star break. He’s done. Call him Mrs. Baird’s, ’cause he’s TOAST.

    Like

  18. Kevin
    May 7, 2016

    I think we keep altuve springer CC and blow the rest up , start over and new GM

    Like

    • Tim
      May 8, 2016

      That’s not going to happen. That would be a panic move and I don’t see Crane as the panic type, despite my reservations about him as an owner.

      Like

  19. Billy Castillo
    May 7, 2016

    This home plate umpire needs a seeing eye dog.

    Like

  20. Billy Castillo
    May 7, 2016

    I heart Rasmus. Give him 18 million, hell, give him 25 million and an airplane, whatever.

    Like

    • Kevin
      May 7, 2016

      your right we keep colby jack forgot about him

      Like

  21. Billy Castillo
    May 7, 2016

    Gomez sucks worse than a leech on cocaine. The sooner we get rid of him, the better.

    Like

  22. Kevin
    May 7, 2016

    Can we please package Valbuena with him

    Like

  23. Kevin
    May 7, 2016

    LOL I had good jinx wahoo , I love Valbuena

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Billy Castillo
    May 7, 2016

    Carlos Gomez just threw a huge tantrum and just walked off. He looked like he was jawing with someone. Marisnick in.

    Yeah…he’s gone.

    Like

    • Billy Castillo
      May 7, 2016

      Appears he got kicked out.

      Like

  25. Dan P
    May 7, 2016

    Another tough loss. I don’t understand challenging someone as hot as Cano has been. Bad decision making.

    Like

  26. Nance (@Bbfanlady)
    May 7, 2016

    Umpiring was horrible tonight – on both sides. Correa was lucky he didn’t get tossed for arguing balls and strikes. That would have been bad – no infielders left. Gomez? Embarrassment to the organization. Pay his salary and give him back to The Brewers.

    Like

    • sandy
      May 7, 2016

      Yes, it was bad on both sides. It always seems to happen to our guys at the crucial times though.

      Like

  27. sandy
    May 7, 2016

    Gomez is like an open sore on this team. Don’t know what he’s done to the team chemistry but they haven’t been the same since he got here.

    Like

  28. Becky⚾
    May 8, 2016

    Tough loss and for sure the umpires were a bit testy tonight. The home plate umpire was just as tough on the M’S as he was for our guys, Laz Diaz is a hot head and was waiting for Gomez to open his mouth again. Look……leaving Giles on the bench is not helping him or this team. He *HAS* to pitch on a more regular basis, and work on his pitches. This kid is talented, and we all know it……he’s gonna be fine, but he can’t get there if he’s sitting on the bench when he could be working on his fine tuning to REALLY help us. He’s taking a spot that honestly could be occupied by a guy we could use right now, because the bullpen is becoming a problem. Will Harris is going to be worn out by the end of June, and I don’t have much faith in the rest of them.
    Cano is our Uncle Albert….he’s good…end of story. This is a multi talented team and they should not be playing this bad. What in the heck is up with Correa committing so many errors? Things need to change and in dang hurry if they want to dig themselves outta this hole they areally in.
    Sandy…..I’m not sure if Gomez is an open sore, but he’s certainly not playing like the guy we thought he was. He’s a hot head, and came exactly as advertised. His play might not be meshing with the rest of this team. Marisnick is a MUCH better centerfielder, but since Gomez is being paid $9 mill this year, so Marisnick rides the pine. I’m a gambler….and I’m going out on a limb and bet Gomez sits tomorrow.

    Like

  29. Becky⚾
    May 8, 2016

    Google Ben May. He’s got a record and it ain’t good.

    Like

    • Dan P
      May 8, 2016

      Yeah I liked how he had the worst record of any ump on replay reversals last season – 12 of 13 calls reversed.

      Like

  30. Tim
    May 8, 2016

    2 years ago the Cubs and the Astros were on similar trajectories, but one organization is flourishing, while the other is floundering. What is the big difference? Well, the Cubs made the wise decision to keep their top prospects and supplement an improving team via free agency, while the Astros made the decision to attempt to trade a large portion of their prospects for veterans at a reasonable price. The Cubs went out and signed Lester, Hayward, Lackey and Zobrist, to name a few and are now the most dominant team in baseball with a very strong minor league system. The Astros signed players like Gregerson, Neshek, Fister and Sipp and traded away Santana, Hader, Phillips, Velasquez, etal and the farm system, while not bad, is nowhere near as good as the Cubs. Thus, while I still put some of the blame on Luhnow I have to put as much on Crane as I feel he is just sitting on his wallet and raking in profits instead of investing in this team like the Cubs ownership is doing. Granted, the Cubs have more TV revenue, but the Astros aren’t hurting and a payroll around $130M is conceivable. Next year the Astros will have a very low payroll after many of the current contracts fall off the books. It will be interesting to see if Crane finally gives Luhnow the reins to add superior talent via free agency.

    Like

    • sandy
      May 8, 2016

      When it’s all said and done, it all comes back to Crane.
      But there are internal problems that need to be fixed first. Last year the M’s were the team picked to go all the way but yet they floundered somewhat like the Astros are this year. In the off season they acquired a new manager and coaching staff.

      As for adding elite free agents. There ain’t enough money in the world to lure good players here after the way they’ve low-balled some of our superior talent.

      Like

    • 1oldpro
      May 8, 2016

      I think Maddon is the big move the Cubs made to improve.

      Like

  31. daveb7
    May 8, 2016

    Tim, good solid post. I agree. Your good solid post may also explain why a guy like Altuve would not consider the extension with Houston at this time.

    Like

  32. Devin_
    May 8, 2016

    I’d like to take a time out from the gloom and doom to wish everyone (for whom it is appropriate) a happy Mother’s Day.

    Like

  33. Kevin
    May 8, 2016

    Ditto Devin, Besides better players overall on the 25 , 2 things the Cubs have we don’t for sure that makes us night and day, Epstein and Madden

    Like

  34. Dan P
    May 8, 2016

    Yes Happy Mother’s Day to poster Moms, wives of posters who are moms and moms of posters. And anyone else I might have missed

    Liked by 1 person

  35. 1oldpro
    May 8, 2016

    The team does not need to be blown up. It does not need to be retooled. It needs to be trimmed and set in a new direction.
    They are out of the playoff talk. They need to ride this out in May and begin to trade the expensive veterans who don’t figure into the mix for next year. By the deadline, they need to trade Castro, Valbuena, Neshek, Gomez, Fields, Marwin, Feldman, Fister and Kratz. Those players should be replaced specifically by Heineman, Moran, Hoyt, Perez, Gustave, Worth, Musgrove, Shirley, and Gattis. Bring up Reed Bregman, McMurray, Duffy, Peacock , Singleton and Wojo in September to get a look and give the others one last look.
    At the end of the season hire the best GM you can find and let him hire a new field management team. If he has somebody in mind for pitching coach the he likes better than Strom, let him make that decision himself.
    Let the new GM shape the team for next season but keep the young players we have. Do not trade our future!
    This way, we start next season with Moran or Bregman at third Correa at SS, Altuve at 2B, Reed at 1B. I prefer Springer in CF as the leader of the OF, with Bregman in RF and Tucker in LF, Heineman and Gattis behind the plate and White at DH and Matt Duffy on the bench along with Jake and Worth.
    On the hill I like LMJ, Keuchel, Musgrove, McHugh and Feliz. In the BP I like Hoyt, Gregerson, Giles, Sipp, Shirley, Fiers and Harris. If Shirley shines and Feliz doesn’t, I’d swap them out and add the lefty to the rotation.
    If he is there, draft Logan Ice at #17. I don’t care if it’s a reach, just do it!
    If our new GM, Nolan Ryan likes him and thinks he’ll be healthy, go after Strasberg with every dollar we have. With the players we have traded away we will have the lowest payroll in baseball and will have the money to go get him. 8/$256mil

    Like

  36. Becky⚾
    May 8, 2016

    I was right…..no Gomez in the lineup today, good move in my opinion. No doubt John Maddon was probably the biggest positive move the Cubs made. The rest of their moves meant that their ownership did, was open up the wallet and spend.
    You’re probably not gonna see that with Jim Crane…..that’s just the sad truth, and the sooner we realize that we can move on. I’ve said this several times, the guys on our minor league teams absolutely know they have dollar signs on their backs….and THAT makes me sooo angry. You pay a guy like Bregman $4-5 million to sign here, you develop him, and then use him for trade bait. Think he doesn’t know what Luhnow’s plan is? Think again. Let’s hope the guys can at least split this series with the M’S today…..and that McHugh pitches good!!
    Happy Mothers Day to all us girls who are a part of this blog!! I got my mother’s day gift on Wednesday when I received the news that the cancer is gone from my body!
    Give your mom’s a kiss for all of us……and if by chance she is cooking, pick up a dish towel and do the dishes for her! GO……ASTROS⚾!!

    Like

  37. Becky⚾
    May 8, 2016

    On my way to eat Crawfish for mothers day lucky me!! No cooking for this girl!!

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Billy Castillo
    May 8, 2016

    Stassi optioned to AAA. Kratz still on the team.

    Max needs a shot with a new team, ASAP

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan P
      May 8, 2016

      By the way – Chip has a new post up
      Yes you can’t beat Kratz’s .043 BA and the pitcher’s tremendous 4.69 ERA

      Like

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This entry was posted on May 7, 2016 by in Astros.
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