An Early Squint at Biggio/Altuve at 2B

Craig Biggio

Craig Biggio

It’s way too early to make any big calls on a comparison of Craig Biggio and Jose Altuve as the potentially greatest second baseman in Astros franchise history, but the speculation aspect is still a lot fun when we look at the kind of offensive year that Altuve is having in his fourth season (2011-14) as the club’s keystone man. Little in physical stature only, Jose Altuve is hitting a hot, league-leading  .344. His 116  hits and 37 stolen bases also led the AL in all games through 7/01/14. By comparison, Craig Biggio had yet to even sniff the .300 plus territory by his fourth season and only had played a handful of games at second base, playing mostly as a highly regarded young catcher and a once-in-a-while experimental outfielder.

The little box table comparisons say a lot, even if the numbers through 2014 can speak nothing but early statistical probability about the long term wind of young Altuve’s actual ability to keep playing at the level he as reached today by the middle of his fourth season. Check out the following box tables and note. At mid-season 2014, Jose Altuve even leads Craig Biggio in his cherished doubles and hit-by-the pitcher (HBP) categories.

Tabular Comparisons of Craig Biggio and Jose Altuve through July 1, 2014 of the latter’s fourth MLB season:

CRAIG BIGGIO 1988-91 483 1667 210 454 153 74 9 24 .272
JOSE ALTUVE 2011-14 437 1760 211 521 127 100 9 16 ..296
Jose Altuve

Jose Altuve


CRAIG BIGGIO 1988-91 162 243 71 21 11
JOSE ALTUVE 2011-14 98 211 112 30 13

The truth still rests down the line. Too bad some of us will have to live well into ancient human antiquity to hear the arguments twenty years from now over “who was the greatest second baseman in Houston MLB franchise history?”

Who’s your pick, if you have one? Hall of Famer Craig Biggio? Or little Jose Altuve? And we also need to remember – Who’s to say the Astros won’t trade Altuve before he even has a chance to establish himself here long enough as the greatest second baseman in Houston franchise history?





4 Responses to “An Early Squint at Biggio/Altuve at 2B”

  1. Rick B. Says:

    Unfortunately, looking at their first four years creates a skewed comparison. As you said, Biggio was not a second baseman during that time, and his primary position of catcher placed a lot more stress on his body. Biggio’s numbers increased dramatically after he was moved to second base. How about a comparison of Biggio’s first four seasons at second to Altuve’s first four seasons? Admittedly, that would be an ‘off’ comparison as well since Biggio already had several seasons under his belt before his move to second that Altuve hasn’t had.
    Right now I choose Biggio – the 20-year man with HOF credentials – but I sure hope this is a breakout season for Altuve and that he’ll keep this up (for the Astros!) in the future. If so, the choice will be much more difficult to make in another 15 years.

  2. Shirley Virdon Says:

    It will be a tough comparison because they have played in different BallParks and different leagues. Longevity will probably be the decisive factor!

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Shirley – You just named the only way we shall ever get our answer, As you just commented, it will be longevity and what Mr. Altuve does over time down the corridor Mr. Biggio has already traveled.

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