HOUSTON – It’s October, and guess who's ready for deliver on the big stage of the baseball playoffs?
Look no further than the Astros reigning MVP, Jose Altuve. He, like many on this team, has played a huge role in the Astros winning their second straight American League West division title and a franchise record 103 wins in 2018.
Altuve continues to amaze everyone in baseball with the numbers he puts up year in and year out.
Growing up in Venezuela, he was a kid who loved the game, but was consistently told no by scouts and his dream was shut down often. Altuve though never accepted the initial responses. He kept working and begged to be given a shot in professional baseball. Finally, the good news arrived and Altuve wound up signing for a mere $20,000.
Let’s just say the rest is history.
Here we are now in 2018, as Altuve just closed out his eighth season in the big leagues and the resume speaks for itself.
Altuve has banged out 1,418 hits, 464 RBI and maintained an incredible batting average of .316.
Fast forward to the 2018 playoff push, and Altuve is ready to roll after a season in which he was hit with nagging injuries.
Those aside, the Astros second baseman still produced a solid year finishing with a .315 batting average with 13 homers and 61 RBI while managing only 17 stolen bases -- his lowest total since his rookie season. Keep in mind, Altuve only played in 137 games and broke a string of four straight seasons with 200 or more hits, finishing with only 169 in 2018.
Now, it’s time for Altuve to shine once again. He is healthy and focused. He will be one of the sparks of the Astros offense in this postseason.
A.J. Hinch hopes is productive at Minute Maid Park.
Altuve was held to below .300 at home, just a .283 clip, while he provided a nice pop on the road, where he nearly hit .350.
Altuve is a guy Hinch will count on, and it all begins with the ALDS against the Cleveland Indians.