Jose Altuve, Second Base, Houston Astros, #27
Date of Birth: 5/6/1990
Birthplace: Maracay, Venezuela
Jose Altuve, second baseman for the Houston Astros, was first signed by the Astros in 2006 but he didn't start his professional baseball career until 2008. He played in the minor leagues from 2008 through 2010 and was called up to the Astros in 2011. He played in just 57 games with them that season.
In 2012, Altuve had his first full season in the major leagues. That year, he played in 147 games with the Astros, batting .290 with 167 hits, 34 doubles, and 33 stolen bases. The following year, in July, 2013, the Astros gave Altuve a four-year, $12.5 million contract extension that includes club options for 2018 and 2019. In 2013, he batted .283 with 177 hits, 31 doubles, and 35 stolen bases in 152 games.
Altuve became one of baseball's stars in 2014 by leading the major leagues in hits with 225 and batting average with .341. He had 47 doubles, third in the major leagues and second in the American League, behind Miguel Cabrera. He was also first in the American League in stolen bases with 56. Only Dee Gordon of the Los Angeles Dodgers had more. What makes all of these numbers even more exciting is the fact that Altuve is the shortest MLB player at just 5'5" tall. He seems to be following the leads of two other great, low on height but high on talent, second basemen - Hall of Famer Joe Morgan and Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox. He won his first Silver Slugger award for his 2014 achievements.
Altuve had another strong season in 2015, finishing with career highs in home runs with 15 and RBIs with 66. He batted .313 with 200 hits, 40 doubles, and 38 stolen bases in 154 games. He won his second Silver Slugger award and his first Gold Glove. As the Astros' second baseman, he made 417 assists, 81 double plays, 247 putouts, and 5 errors in 153 games. He had a .993 fielding percentage.
Altuve had 26 at-bats in 6 postseason games in 2015. He batted just .154 with 4 hits, 2 RBIs, and 1 stolen base.
Altuve had another strong offensive year in 2016, winning his third consecutive Silver Slugger award for batting .338. In 161 games, he had 216 hits, 42 doubles, 30 stolen bases, and career highs in home runs (24) and RBIs (96). Defensively, as the Astros' second baseman in 148 games, he made 361 assists, 73 double plays, 206 putouts, and 7 errors.
Career batting statistics for Altuve through 2016 include:
- 829 games played
- 1,046 hits
- 204 doubles
- 199 stolen bases
- 322 RBIs
- 378 strikeouts to 206 walks
- .311 batting average
Career fielding statistics for Altuve at second base through 2016 include:
- 804 games played
- 2,175 assists
- 481 double plays
- 1,331 putouts
- 44 errors
- .988 fielding percentage