Now before going any further, I fully realize that Jose Altuve has just about zero chance of winning the MVP, and that’s unfortunate. But as far as a single players contributions to his team, there is no one out there that does more for their individual team than the 5-foot-6 second baseman.
The Houston Astros have finally been able to place Altuve in the lineup spot that was made for him, lead-off. Altuve is hitting .338 when he bats lead off. He’s hitting .391 in his last 10 games and .319 overall on the year. That puts him at third in the AL for second baseman, behind just Ian Kinsler and Robinson Cano. He has the most steals by far with 17 and the best strike-out-to-at-bat ratio, as he strikes out just once every 11.5 at-bats. He’s also got the most hits among all AL second basemen.
It’s not only his offensive prowess that makes him such an invaluable piece, though. Altuve has also not committed an error in 82 straight games, setting the franchise record. It’s even more impressive given the Astros’ tendencies to put on bizarre shifts, keeping Altuve playing varying positions.
Altuve is going to be an All-Star if he keeps up this torrid pace, whether he wins the popularity contest that is the All-Star vote, or if he’s forced in based on every team needing a representative. Either way, Altuve is improving on a yearly basis. It’s amazing that he doesn’t get more attention in the national media, but on a team like Houston, success often goes unnoticed.