Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 2/19/13
Jose Altuve is his name and speed is his game. At 5-5, 170 pounds he is one of the few professional athletes I can say I “look down” on (in a height sense, of course…I’m 5-7), but his game has big potential.For one, his batted ball profile suggests he should perennially have a BABIP in the .330-.350 range because he almost always puts the ball in play  (90.7% contact rate, 11.7% strikeout rate) and doesn’t hit a lot of fly balls (27.1%). It would take a lot of bad luck for a guy like that to not hit at least .280.When he does get on base, Altuve can steal a base like the best of them. Last year, he stole 33 bases, while getting caught 11 times (75% success) and, at 23 years old, you can only expect him to get smarter and better at picking his spots. He posted a .340 OBP last year despite walking just 6.3% of the time so his OBP will likely rise and fall with his batting average unless he starts being more patient at the plate.At a GlanceStrengths: BA, SB, KNeutral: OBP, RWeaknesses: HR, RBI, BB, SLGPlayer ComparisonBest-case scenario: Elvis Andrus (TEX) w/o run potentialLikely scenario: Alcides Escobar (KC), Andrelton Simmons (ATL), Ichiro Suzuki (NYY)Worst-case scenario: Rafael Furcal (STL)Jose Altuve 2013 Fantasy ProjectionAltuve boasts strengths in two fantasy categories (BA, SB), which doesn’t seem like much, but it’s the steals that really drive his value into the top 75. Yahoo! ADPs have him at 105.3 so you likely won’t have to spend a seventh or eighth round pick for the speedster.Despite his small stature, Altuve actually knocked seven balls out of the park last year, which isn’t great but it’s something Elvis Andrus has failed to do once in his four-year career.Altuve’s worst part of his game is unfortunately something he cannot control — the rest of the Astros’ lineup. He will be relying on players such as Carlos Pena, Brett Wallace and Chris Carter to drive him in so you can understand why we project him for only 81 runs. The Astros will likely be the laughing stock of the American League and Altuve will suffer because of it.Draft him for the steals, solid batting average and the chance that maybe he will score 85-90 runs on what is shaping up to be a solid collection of minor-league talent. I kid, I kid…sort of.
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