Keppinger and Altuve: Aftermath of a Trade

Jeff Keppinger was traded to San Francisco for 2 pitchers yesterday. The trade opened up a position for Jose Alture at 2B in Houston. The following is a look at how the move will effect each player’s fantasy value.

Jeff Keppinger (5% owned in ESPN) – Keppinger was having an OK season with the Astros so far this season. The 31 year old’s main fantasy value was coming from a 0.307 AVG. He has hit for little power 4 HRs and had 0 SB so far this season.

With the Astros, Keppinger generally hit in the 2nd, 3rd or 5th position in the lineup which have better chances of creating RBIs and Runs. He has not started for SF yet (he is not in Wednesday’s lineup, so he may not actually be a regular starter for the team), but he is not likely to get placed in such nice counting stat generating position in their lineup.

Another item to take into account is that the SF offense as a whole has performed worse (3.7 R/G) than Houston’s offense (3.9 R/G) this season.

Even though Keppinger’s ownership rate has almost doubled since the trade, it is likely that his production will be less than it was with Houston. I would not pick him up in any league that he wasn’t already owned in. With possible questions surrounding his playing time, I may look at replacing him with his replacement in Houston.

Jose Altuve (0% owned – ESPN) – Altuve gets the chance to take over as the everyday 2B for the Astros. The 21 year old has some promising minor league numbers with a triple slash line of 0.327/0.386/0.481. He has shown a little power with 15 HRs last season and 10 so far this season.

His main contribution for fantasy owners is ability to attempt SBs with 60 attempts in 2010. He was successful 42 times (70% success rate). So far this season in the minors, he is 24 for 38 or a 63% success rate. Both of those rates are below the break even point of 75% at the major league level. He will probably not get the green light in the majors with only a 63% success rate. With the Astros out of the race this year, I could see them give him the green light for the rest of the season to see how he can perform against MLB talent to get a success rate determined.

Another item going for him is that the Astros have him batting in the number 2 spot in their lineup. He could be a decent source of runs if he is able to stay near the top of the lineup.

Jose should be owned in all NL only leagues because he is a player that should be getting regular playtiming for a while. He may also be an option in deeper leagues if an owner is in need of 2B help.




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Jeff writes for FanGraphs, The Hardball Times and Royals Review, as well as his own website, Baseball Heat Maps with his brother Darrell. In tandem with Bill Petti, he won the 2013 SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.


12 Responses to “Keppinger and Altuve: Aftermath of a Trade”

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  1. sffan says:

    Would Altuve be part of a three-way job share with Angel Sanchez and Clint Barmes, or are the indicators pointing to a full-time chance for him?

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    • OremLK says:

      Should be full time or nearly full time barring a few days off here and there. He’s the Astros top prospect post-Lyles. They wouldn’t call him up in order to leave him sitting on the bench.

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  2. Jacob Smith says:

    I don’t think they would have started his MLB service time clock without being willing to give him a full-time shot, but he’s awful young, and barely even played in AA.

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  3. GiantsFan14 says:

    fyi, keppinger didn’t start today because his plane was delayed and he didn’t get to the ballpark until well after the game started.

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  4. JWTP says:

    The Giants offense is picking up steam with Pablo back in there and other guys returning to more reasonably expected levels. Furthermore, I’m pretty sure Keppinger could very likely find himself in the 2 hole quite regularly, a .300 hitter in that lineup qualifies for that kind of placement.

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  5. theeiffeltower says:

    Where does this leave Matt Downs and his .500+ SLG? Still not playing every day?

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  6. Hal Jordan says:

    Downs is on paternity leave right now. Not sure what will happen when he comes back. I’m guessing that his playing time will be much like it was before.

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  7. sean says:

    would you rather play jose altuve or Tsuyoshi Nishioka from here on out at MI in 16 team league

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      I would take the chance on Altuve for a little more power and speed. I am not sure what is going with Nishioka right now.

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    • Luke says:

      I like Nishioka because my league counts walks. Hard to know what to expect from Altuve, though he did hit some hard outs in his debut (a lined shot and a deep fly). Kid certainly has killer contact skills.

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  8. Luke says:

    The Astros will run Altuve out every day at 2nd and Barmes at SS and probably Chris Johnson at 3rd. Angel Sanchez and Downs will most likely be used to spell the starters at 2B & SS on off days. Not sure about 3B, cause C.J. sucks so bad. Sanchez looks awkward at 3B, don’t know about Downs.

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