Whenever I write my monthly second-base rankings, I find myself awestruck by how much better Jose Altuve is than any other option at the position. This usually leads me down an Altuve-based statistical rabbit hole, and today I’d simply like to invite you to join me, as I explore the reasons why the 26-year-old is the most productive 2016 fantasy bat to date. (Yes, he’s seriously producing better than the likes of Josh Donaldson, Mike Trout, and David Ortiz in traditional 5×5 formats.)
First off, let’s compare the man to himself. Just 92 games into the season, his 15 home runs already equal last year’s career high. With 70 runs and 54 RBI, he’s on pace to shatter his career marks in both categories, which were also set last year (86 R, 66 RBI). He’s hitting .346, even better than the .341 he hit in 2014, when he won the American League batting title.
He’s already drawn more walks (42) than in any of his previous four full seasons. On-base percentage, slugging percentage, isolated power — all are miles beyond anything he’s done before. His 4.7 wins above replacement already tops last year’s 4.3 WAR.