Rarely do players come along that change a franchise’s history. There is only two or three such players in the league today, and our very own Jose Altuve is one of them.
Jose Altuve and fellow Astros Yulieski Gurriel and A.J. Reed visited Shriners Hospital in Galveston, Texas this past week. They visited with young fans and played games such as connect four with them. This reminded me how lucky we are as Astros fans to have Altuve in Houston.
If you don’t know his story by now, it would be a good idea to learn it. Signed out of Venezuela at the age of 16, the boy that barely stood 5’5″ excelled in the minors, and quickly arrived in Houston in 2011, on a very dismal Astros team. He quickly began to show his elite contact skills and vision at the plate, and quickly became a rising star for the Astros. Now here we are, 5 years later, and Altuve has established himself as one of the best players in baseball.
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2016 was simply a big year for Altuve.
He continued to amaze people by adding significant power to his game. After surpassing ten home runs in a season only once in 2015, Altuve smashed 24 home runs in 2016, and his contact numbers did not fall either. He was able to keep his consistency, and add power to his game, making him a pitchers worst nightmare. Add in his speed, base running skills, and gold glove defense, and you have the makings of a very special player. Jose Altuve is the definition of a five tool player.
What really sets Altuve apart from his peers is his sixth tool. He is genuinely a good person. Jose has shown time and time again, that he may be a better person than he is a ball player. He takes time before and after games meeting fans, and signing autographs.
Altuve takes selfies with young fans while on deck in blow-out games. Having met him myself before a game in Houston, Altuve takes the time to talk to the fans he is interacting with. Young players such as Lance McCullers, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, and A.J. Reed can and will learn a lesson or two from Altuve about being a professional.
Houston fans should not take Altuve for granted, as he is the perfect poster boy for the city and team. To this point in his career, Altuve has set himself up to finish as one of the best players to wear an Astros uniform. Luhnow, lock him up, and let him lead us to the World Series!
***Statistics courtesy of baseballreference.com***