HOUSTON, TX - Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve has been named the 2016 Sporting News Player of the Year, an award which is voted on by players from both leagues and given to the Major League player who had the most outstanding season.
Altuve becomes just the second player in Astros franchise history to win this prestigious award, which originated in 1936. Jeff Bagwell was the first, capturing the honor in 1994. Bagwell also won the BBWAA NL MVP Award in 1994. In fact, each of the last 10 players to win the Sporting News Player of the Year won an MVP Award in their respective leagues in the same season. Those players include Josh Donaldson (2015), Clayton Kershaw (2014), Miguel Cabrera (2012-13), Justin Verlander (2011), Josh Hamilton (2010), Albert Pujols (2008-09), Alex Rodriguez (2007) and Ryan Howard (2006).
Altuve won the AL batting title with a .338 (216x640) average, while posting 108 runs scored, 42 doubles, 24 home runs, 96 RBI, 60 walks, 30 stolen bases, a .396 on-base percentage, a .531 slugging percentage and a .928 OPS. He led all Major League players in hits, while ranking third in batting average, fourth in WAR (7.6) and fifth in total bases (340). He also ranked in the top 10 in the Majors in stolen bases, doubles and in OBP.
His historic season is one of the best by a second baseman in Major League history, as he became the first second baseman to reach 100 runs, 200 hits, 40 doubles, 20 homers, 95 RBI and 30 steals in a single season. He's just the sixth player in Major League history to reach all of those marks, regardless of position. By winning the batting title for the second time in the last three seasons, Altuve became the first second baseman to win multiple batting titles since Rod Carew won five between the 1969-75 seasons.
This announcement kicks off what could be a busy award season for Altuve, as he's one of three finalists for the MLBPA Player of the Year Award, which will be announced on Nov. 9. Red Sox teammates David Ortiz and Mookie Betts are the other two finalists. The three finalists for each of the 2016 BBWAA Awards will be announced on Nov. 7. The BBWAA AL and NL MVP Award winners will be announced live on MLB Network on Nov. 17.
In his brief career, Altuve has earned four All-Star Game appearances (two starts), two Silver Slugger Awards, a Gold Glove Award, two batting titles and two stolen base titles. The 2016 Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winners will be announced Nov. 8 and Nov. 10.