Welcome to Appy Astros, a blog dedicated to following current & former Greeneville Astros, the Appalachian League affiliate of the Houston Astros. Here you will find reports on current G-Stros, updates on the development of former G-Stros and occasionally an update on what has happened to the guys who have hung up their spikes.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Jose and the Very Long Season

Zachary Levine did a great job of highlighting the marathon season Jose Altuve has had in 2011.  Let's look a little closer at the three seasons:

Minor Leagues:

He started off 2011 in Lancaster (A+, Cal League). There he had 213 at bats in 52 games.  He hit .408 during that stretch with 13 doubles, seven triples and five home runs.  He walked 19 times and struck out 26.

Then he moved up to Corpus Christi (AA, Texas League). There he had 144 at bats in 35 games.  He hit .361 during that stretch with nine doubles, three triples and five home runs.  He walked seven times and struck out 14. 

Major Leagues:

Altuve played more games for the big league Astros than he did for either minor league team this season.  During his call up, he had 221 at bats in 57 games.  He hit .276 with 10 doubles, one triple and two HR.  He walked five times and struck out 29. 

Winter Ball:

Altuve played the most games for Magallanes in the Liga Venezuela Biesbol Profesional (LVBP).  He had 242 at bats in 60 games.  There he hit .339 with 18 doubles, two triples and two HR.  He had 16 walks and 26 strike outs.  He will get some consideration for MVP of the league.

When you put all of this together, he played in 201 games and had 820 at bats (898 plate appearances).  He hit for a combined .344, with 50 doubles, 13 triples and 14 home runs.  A grand total of 400 total bases.  He walked 47 times and struck out 95. 

He made five errors in Lancaster, three in Corpus Christ and two in the Majors.  Then he made 14 in the LVBP.  So a combined 24 errors. 

Summing It Up:
Overall a very impressive season for someone who was just 20 when last season started.  And a very long season.  It is obvious that Altuve deserves some rest and relaxation.  I hope he does sit out the rest of the LVBP playoffs despite pressure from the Magallanes ownership to play.  He will report to spring training with the big leaguers which means he has just over one month left before he has to report to rest and recover.

The minor league season told us he could hit and was ready for a chance at the next level.  His time in the Major Leagues told us he could be a solid second baseman at the Major League level.  It also told us that he needed to be more selective at which pitches he swung at so that he can get better quality pitches to hit.  What does the winter ball season tell us?

Despite the errors, the LVBP season gives us some to be excited about for next year.  Mainly that it showed Altuve was working on his pitch selectivity.  I have been told the LVBP's talent level is somewhere between AA and AAA depending on the roster you are facing that day.  Since Altuve only took 7 walks in AA and 5 in the majors, to see him take 16 in the LVBP may be an indication that he is working on not swinging at as many bad pitches. It is a small step but it is a step.

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