Will Jose Altuve make Houston Astros history tonight?


Jose Altuve (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

One more hit. That’s all he needs. Houston Astros All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve is just one hit away from tying the franchise record (210) for hits in a season. That mark was set by Craig Biggio in 1998 when he became the first Astros player ever to collect 200 hits in one year.

Biggio, who has a franchise record 3,060 hits over 20 seasons with the Astros, is one of the best second baseman in MLB history and currently serves as a special assistant to GM Jeff Luhnow. He and Altuve are the only players in team history to get 200 hits in a season, so the two share a special connection.

"“I’m happy for him,” Biggio told Jose de Jesus Ortiz of The Houston Chronicle. “He’s had a great year. Records are made to be broken, and if he gets there that’s great. He’s worked hard, and that’s what it’s all about.”"

Jose Altuve (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

The 24-year-old Altuve has already had one of the best seasons in Astros history and should be on some AL MVP ballots at the end of the year. He is batting .342 with a .379 on-base percentage and .455 slugging percentage (so an .834 OPS). Additionally, Altuve has collected 52 stolen bases (only been caught 8 times), 42 doubles, three triples, seven home runs, 34 walks, 80 runs scored, and 54 RBI’s while striking out just 50 times in 611 at-bats.

Altuve leads the MLB with 63 multi-hit games this season and is the first player since Jose Reyes in 2008 with 200 hits and 50 stolen bases in the same year. When he collected his 200th hit of the season in game 146, Altuve became the fastest player to reach 200 hits in a season since Ichiro Suzuki in 2009. The Astros All-Star second baseman is also the youngest American League player ever with over 20o hits, 40 doubles, and 50 stolen bases in a season.

Altuve’s .342 BA should eventually win him the batting title over guys like Victor Martinez (.331), Jose Abreu (.323), and Adrian Beltre (.322). He is the first player with over 209 hits, 42 doubles and 52 steals since Ty Cobb in 1917 (when he had 225 hits, 44 doubles, and 55 steals). Altuve also joins Cobb (1911, 1917), Tris Speaker (1912), Benny Kauff (1914), George Sister (1922), Biggio (1998), and Hanley Ramirez (2007) as the only players with 200 hits, 40 doubles, and 50 stolen bases in one season since 1900.

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With how well he has been playing recently, I think Altuve will get the record tonight against the Indians (76-73). The Astros second baseman has hit .466 during a 14-game hitting streak at Minute Maid Park and, in the last seven days, Altuve is hitting .440 (11/25) with two doubles, one triple, four RBI’s and a walk. He was 3 for 4 with a triple and two RBIs Monday and has multiple hits in each of his last five games

Altuve is 0 for 3 in his career against Indians starter Corey Kluber (15-9, 2.45 ERA) and Kluber won both of his starts against Houston last year. Meanwhile, the Astros will send Nick Tropeano (1-0, 3.60) to the mound after the rookie gave up two runs and four hits over five innings in his big league debut against the Mariners last Wednesday. The Astros (67-83) will be looking to win a sixth straight home game for the first time since May 2012 and get one step closer to avoiding 90 losses.