Rank: #57 (2020 – #29)
ESPN cited his poor batting average last season and the fact that he’s on the wrong side of 30 for his low ranking, which is fair. I think another reason would be the overwhelming “Asto-hate” bias across the league. Teams are still bitter about the sign stealing scandal of 2017, and Altuve has unfortunately been the easiest target. Trolls of the Twitter-verse and biased fanbases love to take every shot they can at the 2017 MVP and felt “vindicated” that he had a career-low regular season at the plate.
Those same haters also refuse to acknowledge how well Altuve mashed in the playoffs. Altuve hit .375 in the 13 playoff games with 5 HRs, 11 RBIs and a 1.229 OPS. Once again, he was the dominant Jose Altuve we all know and love when the games mattered the most.
Verdict: TOO LOW
Altuve came in behind other infield players like Rafael Devers (#49), Javier Baez (#43), and Ozzie Albies (#35). All those guys are tremendous players, but don’t nearly have the same track record of producing that Altuve has. Let’s not forget – from 2014-2019, Jose Altuve hit .327 with 114 HRs and an OPS of .837, all while winning AL MVP, multiple Silver Sluggers and a World Series during that time. He’s been raking for a long time – a 60-game slump shouldn’t diminish that.
Altuve was objectively bad last season, but the short season was messed with a lot of greats, not just Altuve. Christian Yelich (#9) hit .205 and slugged .430, Nolan Arenado (#13) had his worst season statistically with a .230 BA and Javier Baez (#43) hit a putrid .203. I figure most of these players will bounce back this season with a full spring training and expect Altuve will be one of them.
Altuve is on a 2021 revenge tour. Astro Trolls out there should close out their Twitter accounts while they can.
Should Be: 31-40