Cleat Geeks

SABERmetrics Sunday: Altuve’s Prime

Jose Altuve is quietly one of the best players in baseball, and he now has a chance to win a ring with his team in the ALCS. So far, the 27-year old second baseman has had an incredible career that has arguably been overshadowed by the likes of Mike Trout. He is now entering his prime years and is having as good of a year as he has had so far.

Image result for jose altuve

Altuve broke in the majors when he was 21 in 2011 and has won three Silver Sluggers, a Gold Glove and five All-Star nods since. His durability has allowed him to average playing in 154 games a season since his first full-year in 2012. He began as an average-hitting “get on base” guy, and has evolved to an even better “get on base” guy with power. Altuve is the entire package, so, how good is he doing this year? Lets compare his stats from 2011-2016 and look at his 2017.


2017

BOLD = career high and italics = tied career high )

.410 OBP / .957 OPS / 24 HR / 160 wRC+ / 8.8% BB / 12.7 % K / 1.2 UBR / -1.9 UZR / 3 DRS7.5 WAR

2011-2016

.354 OBP / .790 OPS / 60 HR (average 10 per season) / 113 wRC+ (average per season) / 6% BB / 10% K / -0.6 UBR (average per season) / -4.8 UZR (average per season) / 18.7 WAR (average 3.1 WAR per season)


Image result for jose altuveAltuve’s 2017 has not only been better in standard get-on-base categories but he is also more productive overall. All those bolded stats are career highs. He is walking a bit more, hitting for more power and running the bases at a better than average rate. He hit 24 home runs for the second straight year while also reaching the .900+ OPS mark for the second straight year. His defense is not spectacular but he at least is holding up decently while his bat has made him the second-highest WAR player in the American League.

He may not beat Aaron Judge in the MVP voting, but Altuve is certainly having an MVP-type year and is still only entering his prime.

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