For just the second time in team history and the first since moving to the American League, an MVP came from the Houston Astros. Just weeks after he helped the team win its first World Series title, second baseman Jose Altuve was named AL MVP on Thursday by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
A real family man, Altuve celebrated the news with his loved ones:
The vote wasn't even really close, as Altuve received 27 first-place votes and ended up with significantly more overall votes in his favor than the Yankees' Aaron Judge, who finished in second place:
Altuve wins AL MVP by a wide margin pic.twitter.com/V0n1haJQlC- Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) November 16, 2017
So how did the man signed by the Astros as an undrafted free agent in 2007 at the age of 16 make it to elite-level status as one of the premier players in the game today? Well, he has five tools out there on the diamond, and he puts each of them to use nearly every day he's on the field.
1. He can hit
Oh man, can he hit. He's won the AL batting title in three of the past four seasons, having finished 2017 with a slash line of .346/.410/.547 (each a career-high), hitting 24 homers and driving in 81 RBIs for a potent Astros offense. He finished this past season with 204 hits, tops in the AL ... and he made it look so simple:
2. He can field
Throughout the season, Altuve flashed brilliant defense at second base, teaming up with shortstop Carlos Correa to form quite the dynamic duo up the middle:
... when he wasn't just handling things on his own:
3. He can throw
Just look at this play:
4. He can run
Altuve nabbed 32 stolen bases this season, and hasn't stolen less than 30 in any season thus far in his career as a full-time player.
He's the epitome of hustle:
He even ripped his pants sliding into third on a triple -- brought about by pure determination, of course.
5. He can hit for power
By now, no pitching staff makes the mistake of assuming his size limits his ability to crush the baseball. When he gets ahold of one, it can carry a long way ... which he did when teaming up with Correa for back-to-back homers in Game 2 of the World Series:
And, it's worth pointing out, Altuve made like newly christened NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton and crushed a dinger to the home run sculpture in center field at Marlins Park this season, too:
He really can do it all, and the Astros have reaped the benefits.
But wait, there's more. Altuve essentially has a sixth tool thanks to his musical abilities ... factoring in his dugout dance moves:
And his well-documented affinity for belting out classic Backstreet Boys songs in the clubhouse.