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Astros call up 5-foot-7 second baseman Jose Altuve

Jul 19, 2011, 6:40 PM EDT

Jose Altuve AP

The Astros likely got a little worse Tuesday with Jeff Keppinger’s departure, but they also got a little more interesting.

Jose Altuve is listed at 5-foot-7, but according to just about everyone who has seen him in person, he’s likely much closer to 5-foot-5.  And now he’s the game’s most compact major leaguer after being called up from Double-A to take over at second base.

Altuve was absolutely tearing it up in the minors this season.  He started out at Single-A Lancaster and batted .408/.451/.606 with five homers and 19 steals in what, admittedly, is a fantastic environment for hitters.  He hadn’t slowed too much following the move up to Double-A, though.  He was hitting .361/.388/.569 in 35 games for his new team.  Overall, he was at .389/.426/.591 with 10 homers and 24 steals in 357 at-bats.

The Astros are almost certainly rushing Altuve.  He’s just 21, and it’s not at all likely that he’s ready to hit for power in the majors.  Still, he’s the most intriguing position player they’ve developed since Hunter Pence, and given that the Astros are in need of a little excitement, it’s not too surprising that they chose to give him a look.

  1. bigleagues - Jul 19, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    The ‘stros just got their own Pedroia – well, in height anyway.

  2. scatterbrian - Jul 19, 2011 at 6:54 PM

    Watched this dude in the Future’s Game….he’s a little bad-ass. (I can say “little” because he might be the only player shorter than me.)

  3. banksatdixie - Jul 19, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    I take shits the size of this kid.

    • grumblygus - Jul 19, 2011 at 7:22 PM

      You should consult a doctor about that.

  4. proudlycanadian - Jul 19, 2011 at 7:32 PM

    Obviously he presents a different strike zone to pitchers. Pitches that would be waist high to some hitters will be balls with him hitting. Many pitches that would be low to other hitters would be in his sweet spot. Some umps (Angel?) might have trouble getting the call right.

  5. tjwilliams - Jul 19, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    So, are we allowed to call him “scrappy”? Or is that reserved for short, white players.

  6. cur68 - Jul 20, 2011 at 1:28 AM

    Great move by the ‘Stros. Get the kid up while he’s hot, scare the crap out of other teams with his strike zone, and bask in his defense (not that I know anything about his D, but little dudes play great D, right?). This is the sort of move that will bring the ‘Stros quick success and make their team more interesting to watch in the short term. Meanwhile the liddle guy gets some MLB experience and can show his stuff to his future bosses. Win, win.

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