The trading deadline has passed and if you are a Houston Astros fan, you have to be wondering: “who are these guys that trotted out there for the first game after the deadline?”
- The Astros started two Double-A call-ups.
- Jose Altuve, a second baseman you’ll want to consider if you need some late stolen bases, hit a walk off fielder’s choice to win the game. Hey, if you’re the Astros, you’ll take it any way you can get it.
- Third baseman Jimmy Paredes became the first player in franchise history to triple in his first Major League plate appearance.
Jose Altuve: The Next Dustin Pedroia?
The one Houston Astro that we like is second baseman Jose Altuve. Yeah, it’s tough to project much out of a guy who is 21-years-old and totally skipped Triple-A ball, but Altuve has sped through the minors this season with ease. The 21-year-old Venezuelan hit .408 at High-A Lanaster in the California Leauge in 238 at bats. He’s only 5′ 7″, but he hit 5 homers with 34 RBI and stole 19 bags. At Double-A Corpus Christi, Altuve hit .361 in 153 AB’s, with 5 homers, 25 RBI, and 5 stolen bases. Last year, he stole 42 bases in Single-A.
Small players rarely get the credit they deserve and height is the biggest rap against Altuve. Most who have seen him play say he’s more like 5′ 5″ than 5′ 7″. He’s a good athlete, with above average speed, but terrific instincts on the bases. Although he’s not a walk machine, he makes contact, shows surprising power to all fields, and seems to have few weaknesses at the plate, laying off pitches he can’t hit and punishing mistakes. He has plenty of bat speed and is not easy to overpower, contrary to the stereotype for smaller players.
FANTASY BASEBALL DUGOUT PROJECTION: JOSE ALTUVE — No doubt that Altuve has been rushed The Show much faster than he would have any other place. Altuve probably doesn’t have the power of Pedroia, but he appears to have more than Eckstein, but at 5 feet nothing, you shouldn’t be expecting much power out of the guy anyway. At age 21, with just 35 games of Double-A under his belt and no Triple-A experience at all, it is wise to keep our short-term expectations in check. But in the medium and long runs, given his habit of already exceeding expectations, we are optimistic about Altuve. Playing in a sad sack Astros lineup, he’s surely going to get his chances.
And, if you like streaming pitchers, pitching against the Astros is a guaranteed start regardless of who you are.