The Houston Astros‘ second baseman Jose Altuve was an elected All-Star in his rookie season of 2012. The diminutive Venezuelan was noted for his tidy defensive play, electric speed and consistent appearances at the plate. This summer, things had slowed down for Altuve a bit, and as he missed out on being an All-Star this year it seemed as though his first season may have been something of a flash in the pan. In the last few weeks, however, Jose’s spark is back.
So far in September Altuve is batting .440 and has raised his season average to .281. This number is not quite as impressive as last season when he constantly floated above .300, but it is still one of the top averages for second basemen in the league.
Altuve is 4th in the American League for stolen bases with 35. He added two last night against the Seattle Mariners, including pinching 3rd base.
The Astros simply dominated the Mariners on Tuesday night 13-2, including 17 hits. It is essential for players like Altuve to lead by example for a young team like the Astros to learn and grow. Altuve had three hits, bringing his streak of multiple-hit games to four. His defense has always been key, as he is capable of making highlight-reel plays and makes fewer errors than any other infielder.
The Astros succeeded greatly when they signed Altuve to a four-year contract extension earlier this season. Jose remains the face of the club; he sells more jerseys than anyone else. Ask around Minute Maid Park, especially the younger generation, who their favorite Astro is and more often than not the answer will be the 5-foot-5 star (officially listed as the shortest player in the majors). Altuve is a true Houstonian now, and that can only mean good things for the future.
Daniel Jamieson is an MLB writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JamiesonDaniel