Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve has Become Irreplaceable

Troy Taormina - USA TODAY Sports

Troy Taormina – USA TODAY Sports

Every so often a player will emerge that was never drafted in the MLB draft, never heavily scouted, and for all intents and purposes — never heard of. Jose Altuve was one of those guys. He tried out for the Houston Astros three separate times before getting the chance, and he made everything out of it. At 5-foot-6 he’s far from the prototypical ball player, but he makes even his height part of his arsenal.

No matter what the Astros are doing — no matter how lousy or how well — Altuve is always consistent on a team that is sorely lacking in consistency. In about three years with the Astros, he’s never hit below .275. After being criticized as a “free swinger” he quickly changed his approach and his walk totals sky-rocketed. In his two full MLB seasons, he’s stolen 33 and 35 bases, respectively. And the best stat of all? He strikes out only once in every eight at-bats — something that is invaluable to the Astros.

So far this year, Altuve is improving on all of those categories. Mainly, he’s averaging a strikeout every ten at-bats. Blame it on his height if you want, but that number is absolutely crucial on a team that strikes out like it’s going out of style.

Altuve should be a yearly All-Star. The only reason he isn’t is because he’s on an Astros team that has been the laughing stock of the MLB for three straight years. Second base is a stocked position in the American League, but no one does more for their team than Altuve does for the Astros. And being only 23 years old, he has plenty of room to become even better.

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