Jose Altuve, 21, was promoted from Advanced A Lancaster Jethawks to the AA Corpus Christi Hooks. The Houston Astros prospect was a non-drafted free agent, with who the Astros have potentially found a tiny diamond in the rough. The Hooks radio broadcast commented that he is listed at 5’7 but is probably closer to 5’5. Watching the broadcast on MILB.tv I wasn’t able to get a good feel for his size, I will be in Corpus to see the Hooks at the end of June and I will try to snap some pictures.
Prior to being promoted Altuve was dominating the California League. He was the league leader in batting average with .408 in 213 plate appearances. He was also tied for fifth in stolen bases with 18, and was also in the top five in slugging, on base percentage and OPS. Altuve’s split against left-handers is just shy of .500 at .483, and his average against righties is .381. So as a prospect goes, he has power, speed, and hits for average. His defense is solid as well in 234 defensive chances he only had five errors.
Last night against the Springfield Cardinals, the Maracay Venezuela native started his AA career with some noise. Altuve was 3 for 4 with a home run and three RBI. He contributed in a big way and we hope to see him continue to flourish at the Double-A level.
This was going to be entirely about Altuve but another call-up forced me to change the story. Another exciting prospect, Jonathan Villar, played his first game for the Hooks last night as well. Villar was 2 for 5 with a walk off home run as Corpus Christi won 6 to 5. Cardinal’s prospect Alex Castellanos made a good attempt at robbing the run, but flipped over the fence. Villar was a piece in the Roy Oswalt trade last summer.
Of the six runs the Hooks scored last night, guys who were playing in single-a last week accounted for four of them. I’ll continue to update you on their progress in the Texas League.
Just for fun, here’s a video of Altuve hitting a walk-off grand slam for Lancaster last season.