Jose Altuve tops list of MLB second baseman for fifth time
As the boos grow louder, so does the on-field performance. Coming off of a World Series winning season in which he hit .300 with a .921 OPS, 160 OPS+ and a career high 164 WRC+, Jose Altuve was named the best second baseman in baseball by MLB Network. Altuve has received the recognition on five occasions in his career.
Yesterday was quite a day for Houston's second baseman and face of the franchise. He also received the Sportsmanship Award at the Houston Sports Awards.
Groans collectively could be heard from opposing fanbases across the country. The (unfairly) scapegoated Astro continues to rack up individual and team accolades while grown adults across the country wish ill on him for something he played no role in.
Luckily for us, and unluckily for those Yankees and Dodgers fans, both Altuve and the Astros show no signs of slowing down.
2022 was Altuve's best season since his MVP season in 2017. He racked up impressive traditional and counting stats, finishing with the fifth-highest OPS in the game. This was no fluke either, as his quality of contact was possibly the best it has ever been.
According to Statcast, Altuve finished in the 91st percentile in whiff rate, 90th percentile in xwOBA and strikeout rate, 84th percentile in xBA, 83rd percentile in walk rate and 77th percentile in xSLG. Those numbers were directly in line with his 2016 and 2017 seasons, two seasons in which he finished top-three in MVP voting and hit at least .338. He posted a 15-run value against four-seamers, continuing to ambush first pitch fastballs.
The team of course added Jose Abreu and brought back a healthy Michael Brantley.
The Astros remain the favorites to win the 2023 World Series, looking to become the first repeat champions since 2000. If they are to do so, it's a safe bet Altuve will be back atop the list of second baseman again next year.
Where no matter how one feels about him, they must admit he belongs. Congrats Jose!