What should WE expect from Astros second basemen Jose Altuve in 2017?
Coming off of a monster campaign in 2016, Jose Altuve is back in the heart of the Astros lineup, with a lot more firepower around him.
With the likes of Brian McCann, Josh Reddick and Carlos Beltran joining the fold, do his numbers go down or do they go up? Are there less opportunities because others are helping driving in runs, therefore limiting Altuve’s run producing opportunities? Maybe. But those that are driving in those runs ahead of Altuve need driven in too.
in 2016, Altuve was selected to his fourth All-Star Game along the way to compiling 216 hits, 42 doubles, 24 home runs and 96 RBI. He slashed .338/.396/.531, a career high in both on-base and slugging percentages, and added 30 stolen bases.
Let’s take a look at Altuve’s 2017 ZiPS projections via Fangraphs.
What Fangraphs ZiPS expects from Altuve in 2017
In terms of counting stats, ZiPS sees a little bit of a drop off coming from Altuve in 2017. That is not a bad thing, however, after his career year.
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Fangraphs sees another 200+ hit season, 39 doubles, 17 home runs and 81 runs batted in to go along with 37 stolen bases. All of those would be lower than 2016 except for stolen bases.
That is a fair projection considering he figures to have a lot more help around him offensively. With less pressure on Altuve in the middle of the order, he can be more of a factor on the base paths.
Adding to the previous numbers, the projections see a 6.3 BB%, a 9.3 K%, which are pretty normal for Altuve. The ISO projects to come down from .193 to .158 and ZiPS sees a 5.8 zWAR in 2017, second on the Astros behind Carlos Correa.
The number one comparison for Jose Altuve’s 2017 season? Billy Herman, a career .304 hitter who played mostly for the Chicago Cubs in the 1930’s and 40’s. I’ve seen better comparisons but I have no control over that.
Overall, I would say that’s a pretty underwhelming projection to most Astros fans, but I think it’s pretty realistic. With a better offense, he won’t be counted on to do as much, nor will he have as many opportunities as maybe he did a year ago.
Either way, I think we’re all ready to see what Altuve can do coming off his monster 2016 season with high expectations as an individual player and team.