Baseball

Jose Altuve: The MVP That Almost Wasn’t

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Jose Altuve is one of the best players in the current era of baseball, but his journey to the big leagues wasn’t as glamorous as one might seem. From an undersized nobody to a World Champion, this is the story of how Jose Altuve made it in baseball.

“Too Short”

Jose Altuve was born in 1990 in Venezuela. Altuve’s father, Carlos, was a huge baseball fan and made sure his son played. Venezuela has produced 31 MLB players, most notably being Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera. Altuve first caught the attention of the Astros when the team had sent Omar Lopez to Venezuela to scout Angel Nieves, but it was Altuve who caught his eye.

Altuve would eventually be invited to the Astros workout with hopes of being signed. “So I run 60 yards, I catch some ground balls, I hit some balls, and they cut me.” said Altuve. Jose was mostly invited because of his exceptional hand-eye coordination and his ability to make contact with the ball, but it was mostly his height that would have him sent home.

Altuve came back the next day hoping that the scouts wouldn’t remember him, but they did and decided to let him try again. Altuve even stated that he’d play for nothing and that all he wanted was a chance. Altuve was sent home yet again.

Altuve would eventually make it into the Astros minor league system and would be called up during the Astros miserable 2011 season.

World Champion

After making it into the MLB in 2011, Altuve would stay as the Astros main second baseman. Altuve was good right off the bat, but 2017 would go down as his best year ever.

Altuve slashed a .346 batting average with 24 homeruns and 204 hits. Jose also hit a combined .349 batting average during the postseason with seven homeruns, three of which came during Game One of the ALDS against Boston.

Jose has also been named an All-Star seven times during his career, been named the AL Silver Slugger five times, won a Gold Glove, a World Series Championship, 2017 AL MVP, and 2019 ALCS MVP just to name a few.

At 31 years old, the future is still very bright for Jose, who is on pace for 3,000 hits currently with 1,777. However, his contract does end in 2024, even though that’s far away, you’d have to wonder whether or not Jose still wants to play beyond that point.

Final Thoughts

Jose Altuve is a living example of the concept of never giving up. Jose struggled to break into the MLB but he never gave up and was eventually signed in 2007. Altuve grinded his way to the big leagues, advancing to the MLB after just one season in AA Ball. From being just a kid who dreamt of the big leagues to recording the final out of a World Series, Altuve has done it all.

As always you can find me on Twitter @KeganCrawford for all of my content.

Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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