Imagine my surprise when the Houston Astros decided to call up Jose Altuve after the Jeff Keppinger trade. Not that Altuve’s minor league numbers did not warrant a look, as he posted a line of .389/.426/.591 with 24 steals, 26 walks, and 40 strikeouts in 357 at-bats this year between High A and the Texas League this season. Nonetheless, he is young and is not an uber-prospect due to his size, but I suppose the Astros wanted to see what they had.
Very few people write up prospects better than John Sickels, and he did an excellent write-up of Altuve here. I will leave the prospect analysis to the experts.
In my home league (13 team N.L.-only with standard 5x5 categories), Altuve went for $15 (I had the next highest bid of $13). A former contender for the league title who has slipped into 6th place picked him up, and I think this is an excellent bid. This team has the ability to pick up 6 quick points in runs and stolen bases, and Altuve has a little power to boot. Unfortunately, Altuve replaced Jose Tabata on his team, so it is not like Altuve is adding to these counting stats; it would, of course, have been better if Tabata was not on the disabled list. Altuve, however, could be a keep at a weakened second base position next year.
Altuve could stick with the team for the rest of the year, or could wind up in Double A in two weeks. Nonetheless, as the trading deadline approaches, more risks need to be taken by the teams looking up in the standings and the teams out of contention need to be looking at potential keepers. Altuve presents opportunities for both.