Jose Altuve, by far, is already considered one of the greatest Astros players of all time.
There is no doubt about that.
Once Altuve breaks all of Craig Biggio’s hitting records with the Houston Astros (except for hit by pitch – because absolutely no one is going to be getting hit by that many pitches ever again), he will by record sake be the best ever.
However, there is a whole other argument that needs to be looked at. On the absolute record pace that Altuve has been on in his career, there is a very good chance that Altuve cements himself (given a 20-year career) as one of the five best hitters of all time.
In that regard, let’s take a look at the top five all-time Astros hitters and their career stats. Jose Altuve’s numbers are based on what he has accumulated so far in his career.
When you take a look at this chart and then take the average seasons between Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Jose Cruz and Cesar Cedeno, it averages out to a 15-season career.
If you take the numbers from this chart for Altuve and calculate it to a 15-year career, those numbers look like this below.
Now, let’s take a look at Altuve’s numbers as of right now, compared to the top four hitters in MLB history.
Honestly, looking at this chart above me you start to wonder if indeed Ty Cobb was a better hitter than Pete Rose. Granted, yes they played in different eras of the game. That is completely understood. But look at the numbers, it is hard to argue against Cobb being better than Rose.
Now just like we did with the comparison of Altuve to average seasons for Astros hitters, we will do the same with the all-time hits leaders, as listed above.
This above chart shows an average of 23.25 seasons played between Rose, Cobb, Hank Aaron and Stan Musial. If you take the numbers from this chart for Altuve and calculate it to a 23.25-year career, those numbers look like this below.
Now obviously these numbers seem a little bit unrealistic as we assume Altuve is not going to play 23.25 seasons in his career. So, let’s adjust it to a 20-year playing career to match the number of seasons Biggio played in his career (to compare Astro greats). Those numbers are below.
Part two of this analysis will be coming soon and detail the use of “new age stats” to explain why exactly Altuve could in fact be the second-best hitter of all-time.