The Houston Astros have been one of the most disappointing teams in baseball this season, sitting last in an AL West they were expected to dominate. The pitching staff has been giving up too many runs and even ace Dallas Keuchel’s stats are down across the board (beard’s still good at least). But Carlos Correa is still young and strong, and miniature second baseman Jose Altuve is having one of the best seasons in Major League Baseball. They’ll be fine, and they might have the best offensive player in baseball at the moment.
Altuve has always been a good contact hitter, but he’s hit nine home runs this year and he’s tied for the most extra base hits in baseball with 24. His ability to pull the ball better than most makes him impossible to shift against, and his speed (MLB-best 13 steals) helps him turn would-be putouts into singles. Altuve’s power and base-stealing skills give him the best chance of anyone to make the 40-40 club this season. Look at these absurd leadoff stats man.
The Astros beat the Indians at home tonight and Altuve did his duty with three RBIs (I know, I know) and this real nice barehander.
The Astros might be a huge bummer, and Altuve may not keep up his ridiculous .323/.408/.654 line, but he’s one of the most fun, versatile hitters in baseball. He’s a strange amalgamation of skills, and players like him (who bend baseball’s traditional roles) are my favorite kind and I hope he keeps up his weird, great season.