Now that the Houston Astros have locked up Jose Altuve for the foreseeable future, the question now is how Altuve will perform over the course of his new deal. There are some fair questions regarding Altuve's age and how much we can expect him to decline as the years go by. However, the structure of Altuve's extension pays him less in the later years, so Houston at least protected against that possibility to a certain degree, while making sure to keep the franchise cornerstone around.
The other thing to keep an eye on are some pretty sweet career milestones that Altuve could reach over the next few years. He currently sits at 293 career stolen bases, and while he isn't running as much these days, 300 stolen bases is a mortal lock, with 400 theoretically possible if he can pick up the pace a bit. 300 career homers is also on the table before his career is done as well, as he currently sits at 209 and is still playing well.
However, the biggest milestone that Altuve could achieve in the coming seasons is the fabled 3,000 hits threshold, and evaluating his chances of getting there requires a bit more digging.
What does Astros icon Jose Altuve have to do to get to 3,000 hits over the next six seasons?
Altuve currently sits 2,047 hits after 13 seasons in the big leagues. If he maintains that 199 hits per season average the rest of his career, it will take him less than five seasons to get there. However, Altuve's injuries last year are a reminder that anything could happen, and fans should probably expect him to decline somewhat as he enters his late 30s.
Right now, Altuve is under contract for six more seasons with the Astros -- including this coming season -- and is considered by many to be the most likely MLB player to get to 3,000 hits next. By all accounts, Altuve is healthy at the moment and should be in a good spot to play the entire 2024 season, which definitely helps. To get to 3,000 hits before his extension runs out, Altuve will need to average a little less than 159 hits a season the rest of the way, which is certainly attainable.
There is some cause for concern, though. Over the last five seasons, Altuve has only had 159 or more hits in a season once, with 167 in 2021. He did have 158 in 2022, which is extremely close, but he is going to have to pick up the pace he has set in recent seasons and stay healthy if he wants to get to 3,000 hits ... or sign another extension, but that is an argument for another day.