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Jose Altuve Just Keeps Batting And Batting And Batting

Zachary Levine has a great, short article on Jose Altuve's busy winter. Heck, it's been a busy calendar year for Altuve as he's racked up almost 900 plate appearances between four different leagues.

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Of course, in the past 500 of those plate appearances, he's only walked 21 times. Dating back to his time in Corpus Christi, that's 28 walks in 660 plate appearances which works out to a rate of 4.2 percent.

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What's unclear, and really is the biggest question on whether Altuve will be successful in the future with the Astros is if that walk rate is his true performance level. See, before reaching Corpus Christi, his walk rate had never fallen under 7.1 percent at any level in the minors.

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It's really unclear how consistent walk rates can be. As Altuve reached higher levels of the minors, pitchers have better control and the strike zone can be called more consistently. Add to that his high batting average and his desire to keep it high by hitting everything in sight.

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What will happen for Altuve moving forward? Bill James projects him to post a walk rate around 2.4 percent while fan voting has him closer to 4.2 percent for 2012. That's closer to what I think he'll do and, if he can hit around .270 or .280, that'd put his on-base percentage around .320 or .330. With some doubles power, he'll provide, well, basically what Jeff Keppinger did for a few years there.

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Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.