Jose Altuve, all 5 feet, 6 inches of him, could very well be the American League MVP this season. The Astros’ second baseman is posting historically great numbers for a player at his position, especially from a power standpoint. Mike Petriello of MLB.com took a closer look at what Altuve has done differently this year. To put it simply, Altuve has cut down on the amount of pitches he chases out of the zone and has started putting the ball in the air more.
Three months later, that’s still true, but we’ve learned there’s more to it. Altuve has hit fewer grounders, dropping from 47 percent of his batted balls to 42 percent, a career low — and well below the 53 percent it was in 2012. But he’s also dropped his percentage of fly balls, down from 35 percent to 31 percent. Instead, Altuve has decided to just hit screaming liners — the kind of balls with the highest probability of becoming extra base hits.
The article lacks quotes from Altuve on any mechanical changes he’s made at the plate, but the proof is in the video. Check out his front foot/leg:
Altuve through the years. Minors, 2012, 2014, 2016 pic.twitter.com/8pKqZluDcb
— Ryan Parker (@RA_Parker) August 10, 2016