The Houston Astros have been without their dynamic leadoff hitter George Springer for a little more than two months. Jose Altuve had been in and out of the leadoff role this season, especially when Springer took over the spot before his injury. While Springer was hurt and could not play, Altuve moved back into the leadoff spot and was having great success there. Did Altuve have any issue with Springer jumping back into the leadoff role when he returned?
Of course not, Altuve wants to do what is best for the team, and he knows that Springer is a more patient hitter leading off. When Springer is hitting in the cleanup position, he tries to do too much and gives the Astros fans a fresh breeze with his big swings and misses. Since moving up in the lineup to hit leadoff, he has aimed for more contact and getting on base versus going for the long drive. With Springer’s ability to get on base and run, it helps to have a contact hitter like Altuve hitting behind him.
This impact showed last night as Springer led off with a single to right field; then Altuve hit a single to left field that advanced Springer to third base with his legs. Then the third hitter Carlos Correa hit a ball that could have been a double play ball, but his legs beat out the play at first base. These three players are all relatively young, and will be the leaders in the Astros clubhouse for years.
Let’s take a look at their stats hitting in their respective spot in the order.
Springer hitting first: .321/ .400/ .504/ .904 with 7 homers, 12 RBIs, and 4 steals.
Altuve hitting second: .275/ .309/ .374/ .683 with 2 homers, 6 RBIs, and 4 steals.
Correa hitting third: .259/ .349/ .476/ .805 with 11 homers, 30 RBI’s, and 7 steals.
Even though Altuve’s stats are better hitting leadoff with a slash line of .322/ .365/ .430/ .796, him hitting second has a small sample size. Are these three players perfect? No, but name a player who is perfect, they are all great players who haven’t even hit their prime yet. These three players can hit for power and has the speed to disrupt the game. These players don’t come around often. The question is, is there a better 1-2-3 combination of hitters at the top of the order than the Astros trio?
Let’s look at some of the top three batters in the order from some of the playoffs teams and compare them to the Astros trio.
Call to the Pen
Looking at these teams, I would say that the Astros have the second best leadoff trio of all the teams in the playoff hunt behind the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays have their two power bats there with a speedster. However, I would much rather have the Astros trio with their potential. How much longer will Bautista play? Get used to seeing these guys hit together for years to come, but enjoy this magical run in 2015.