There has been a great deal of buzz over Jose Altuve's performance in winter ball in Venezuela (LVBP). Someone on twitter the other day (sorry can't find it now) said that he thought Altuve resembled Marcus Giles. It was one of those moments where you slap your forehead and say "Yes, why didn't I think of that."
To refresh your memories, here is a photo of Altuve:
And one of Giles:
Giles is reported to be 5'8" while Altuve is 5'5".
I decided to go back and look at Giles' stats in the minors to see if the resemblance was more than just the square jaw. They both have May birthdays so they were very close to the same age in each of these seasons.
I found the both Giles & Altuve played in the Appy League at 19. For Giles it was his first pro year; for Altuve it was his repeat year in Greeneville.
Giles hit .348/.437/.566 in 55 games.
Altuve hit .324/.408/.508 in 45 games.
Giles was better in all three areas of averages. Altuve had 21 swipes to Giles five. Giles fanned 19% of his plate appearances (PA); while Altuve fanned just 8% of his PA.
Fielding wise, Giles carried a .962 fielding % and Altuve's was at .968.
The next year both players moved the the Sally League. Altuve only stayed there for part of the season but we will keep comparing apples to apples.
Giles hit .329/.433/.566 in 135 games.
Altuve hit .308/.364/.445 in 94 games.
Giles had a monster year hitting 37 HR and 38 doubles while driving in 108 RBI. Also he walked once every seven PA. He fanned once every 51/2 PA. He scored 111 runs and stole 12 bases. These were the best numbers of his career. He never hit more than 21 HR but his double power remained.
Altuve had a solid year hitting 11 HR and 15 doubles while driving in 45. He walked once every 13 PA and K'd once every nine PA. Altuve stole 39 bases and scored 75 runs.
In the field, Giles carried a .954 fielding percentage and Altuve's was at .973.
Giles continued to put up solid numbers and after another solid year at high A, he made Baseball America's top 100 list (#74). He would make his MLB debut just before his 23rd birthday. He played in 68 games each of his first two big league seasons and then was a regular for five more seasons.
Altuve's future is yet to be determined. Looking at those two years, he appears to be a quicker/better baserunner with a better glove. He makes more contact than Giles but doesn't get on base as much or have the pop Giles showed.
What do you think?