A few years back, I was fortunate enough to win a Jose Altuve signed baseball through a random drawing from MLB Fan Cave. At this point, Altuve just finished his first full season with the Houston Astros, hitting .290 and racking up 167 hits. Though he was an all-star, Altuve was still primarily only known for his 5’6” stature, not his ever-improving on-field success. The year after his breakout season was not as good as the previous year, but he really took off in 2014 and has arguably been the best second baseman in the game since.
When Altuve had his first full season in the league, some 17-year-old kid named Carlos Correa was drafted with hopes of being the future of the Astros. Dallas Keuchel was a struggling rookie for the team. The Astros were still a laboring organization with a “maybe next year” mentality. Then came the lightning quick second baseman.
In his best season to date (2014), he led the struggling ‘Stros to a 19-win improvement over the previous year. In his MVP-caliber season, Altuve hit an astounding .341 with 225 hits and 56 stolen bases, all of these leading the American League. This last year was nearly as good, hitting .313 but increasing his power by hitting 15 dingers. He is a huge reason for the first playoff appearance for the Astros since 2005.
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Altuve became the first player in Astros history with back-to-back 200 hit seasons, or even with two 200 hit seasons for that matter. The only other player for the ‘Stros to have one of these seasons is Craig Biggio, who was a fairly decent player to say the least (I’m kidding). I would not expect this to be his last one of these special seasons either, as Altuve is constantly improving and only getting better. 3000 hits is a very real possibility for the future of the Astros’ pride and joy.
Jose Altuve is a large part of why this Astros team is fun to watch again. Whether he’s hitting home runs or infield singles, he always gives 100% and is focused on one thing: winning ballgames. As the Astros bring up more young talent and continue to improve overall, expect the still-young second baseman to be constantly contributing and getting better.
If Altuve is already producing like this at the age of 25, imagine how great he will be as he enters his prime years in the MLB. On a related note, I believe I’ll be keeping that signed baseball for quite a while.