I want Jose Altuve to be voted onto the American League All-Star team in July. This is certainly a daunting task given the trio of perennial all-stars that currently sit 1-2-3 in the fan-based voting process. Altuve has been a good player throughout his career so far. But his age-23 season shows that he could be in MVP consideration while playing for a well-known ballclub.
Here is a question that I pray is unable to be answered with the name Jose Altuve. But it has been asked on Twitter for a while now and I felt obliged to include it here, as Altuve is currently ranked 5th in votes among AL second basemen.
When was the last time that an MLB hits leader not voted into the Midsummer Classic?
On June 8th MLB released an update of the fan-voting:
source: MLB.com voting results
Honestly, if the answer July 15th is Jose Altuve, I will be demanding that MLB changes their policy regarding fan votes. Sure, the Houston Astros have lost well over 300 games in the last three seasons. Alright, so they do not have baseball’s ten year contract in excess of more money most people can ever dream of earning. Nor was anyone involved in a beard-off or a blockbuster trade last offseason.
But the All-Star game to me is recognition of players who play the game hard every day and get good results. Altuve has been a solid defender throughout the season, a great presence at the top of the order, and healthy.
There is no guarantee that Altuve will remain the MLB leader in hits. He actually does have a historical tendency to cool off during the summer months. Baseball-reference shows that his batting average is at .318 during March/April, .290 in June, .251 in August and finishes strong with a .291 average during September. A full breakdown of his splits is here.
Jose has actually diverted from those historical tendencies. This year he hit .276 in April prior to exploding to hit .357 for the month of May. June is still young and he has hit for a .333 average while being moved from lead-off to the number 2 spot in the order.
Among his competition, Jose ranks: 1st SB, 1st H, 2nd BA, 1st 2B, 1st AB, 2nd fielding percentage.
Obviously there are a lot of factors that determine how fans vote for the All-Star game. But Houston is large enough of a city to make a difference. The attendance is also up from last season which is a product of the team’s better play this season. So let’s get this done, Houston.