TCB Astros Hitter of the Week: June 18-25

Scott Halleran

Who wins the award in a pretty bad offensive week?

Honorable mention

George Springer

Get off me. I can do what I want. If I want to give Springer a mention here, despite him hitting .143 for a week, I will.

He also had a .308 on-base percentage, despite his criminally-low batting average (.083 BABiP feels low). AND, he hit two home runs. Leave Springer Alone. He's not slumping. He's just giving pitchers a break, lulling them into a false sense of complacency.

Jesus Guzman

Just seeing if you're paying attention. Still, this is less of a joke and more of actual recognition. Guzman had the second-highest wRC+ on the team for the past week. Granted, it came in just seven plate appearances. In a normal week, Guzman would never get a mention, but in this offense-starved seven-day stretch, he's worth of at least this.

Jonathan Villar

It hurts my heart to put his .278 on-base percentage here, but Villar hit with enough power in the past week to net a 122 wRC+ over that stretch. He's one of just four players on the team with above-average wRC+ totals last week, so he gets mentioned here.

He also shows why Marwin Gonzalez won't be starting soon at shortstop, nor why Houston will send him down in favor of Ronald Torreyes or Kike Hernandez or anyone else. How many shortstops do you know who can put up slugging percentages of .500 or better?

The answer is one. In 2013 and 2014 (so far), only Troy Tulowitzski managed a SLG over .500. If you have a guy with even the chance of developing into a second name on that list, you give him all the rope in the world. That's why Villar stays with the team for the rest of the season and that's why Villar gets most of the starts at shortstop. Let him work out of his slump and hope some of that power potential continues to emerge.

To be clear, there's no evidence that Villar CAN become one of these guys. He never hit that well in the minors for power. But, he's also very young. He's still developing and there's still enough potential to dream on.

Winner

Jose Altuve

There's a reason I wrote a quick feature on how unique Altuve is Tuesday. He's absolutely been on fire lately. In the past week, Altuve has hit .458/.519/.458 with three steals and just one strikeout in 27 plate appearances. That stretch has raised his batting average by eight points and puts only Troy Tulowitzki ahead of him in the majors for BA.

Are we really sure this guy won't get his second All-Star nod? I'm pretty sure if he keeps this up for another few weeks, he's a virtual lock, even if the position is deep. That could mean Dallas Keuchel, who also seems like a shoo-in, could be left out in the cold, but mroe and more, Altuve's performance suggests Houston will have two All-Stars.

In the past week, Altuve hit line drives on 22 percent of his at-bats. That's even slightly lower than his season rate of 23 percent and the dude still hit over .400 in six games. I'm done trying to explain him, in other words. He's just very good at hitting baseballs and was the only viable offensive threat for Houston in an otherwise desolate week.

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