FanPost

Waiting for Jose Altuve

I saw him play for the first time the other day on MiLB.tv, and I think I have a new favorite ball player.  I knew he was small, but he looked more like a little kid standing at the plate next to the umpire and catcher.  I began to think about his minuscule strike zone and how if he can catch up and make solid contact on good fastballs he will be a very tough out.  Then I also began to wonder how the position of his smaller strike zone will affect pitchers.  His zone will be lower to the ground than any other hitter in baseball, so pitchers who normally work lower in the zone on averaged sized hitters won't be used to pitching that low, and their normal low-yet-still-in-the-zone pitches won't, in actuality, be low in Altuve's strike zone but more hittable.  I also wonder if Altuve's size will make it more difficult for opposing catchers to frame pitches lower in the zone.  Are they going squat even lower?  And then finally I realized that Corpus really isn't that far from Houston.


That was maybe the happiest thought that I have had in a while regarding our Astros.  Even if they do next to nothing with trades and free agents it would possible that we could see this line-up in 2012:

Bourn

Altuve

Pence

Wallace

Martinez

Johnson

Castro

Manzella

Obviously, Manzella isn't too exciting but all the others would be fun to watch if Johnson hasn't proven to be be a bust by that point.  Villar could even make a run at the SS job but I have more doubts about him than I do about Altuve and Martinez.  I would really love to see Bourn take a huge lead off of first while pitchers try to hit the bullseye that is Altuve's strike zone.  I was excited by the very fact that even if the Astros do nothing at all with personnel they could still get younger and better for the first time in a long time.  The minor leagues are once again starting to supply us with options and possibilities. 

Maybe you still want to add prospects because expecting two rookies to turn the team a round is a bit much?  You could deal Wandy this season for prospects and maybe a reliever that doesn't suck and is under team control for a while and then pursue Yu Darvish in the off-season.  I'm skeptical of expensive Japanese abused pitching, but I would still be excited about a rotation of Darvish, Norris, Lyles, Happ, Myers.  I'm sure the NL Central would make Darvish look better than say the AL East.  Or if you really want to go nuts deal Myers too and hope that Oswalt is available (ok...so Oswalt and Darvish together with Lyles and Norris is just fantasy).  And/or you could trade Pence and ride out the last that Lee has to offer in left with JD in right, or maybe even land Dominic Brown in a Pence trade, which I doubt is possible.

Anyway, Altuve and JD are on the way.  And now I actually hope we hang onto Bourn just so I can see how many pitchers get frustrated with him stealing bases while they have to worry about trying to hit the mini-hitting machine's strike zone.

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