Jose Altuve Named MLB Player of the Year by Sporting News

On Thursday night, Sporting News named Jose Altuve the second baseman for the Houston Astros as the Major League Player of the Year.

The award was voted on by 341 players in the MLB. This award has been handed out by the Sporting News since 1936.

Not many second basemen have been awarded this coveted award over the years. The first second baseman to win the award was Bill Mazeroski in 1960, and then 15 years later the award was won by Joe Morgan the Cincinnati Reds second baseman.

Morgan won the award again the following year. The only other second baseman to win the award was Ryne Sandberg in 1984.

Joining the three members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Altuve could one day be in Cooperstown as well. At just 26, Altuve has 1,046 hits, a batting average of .311 and has stolen 199 bases.

The only second basemen who had more hits than Altuve at the age of 26 were Mazeroski, Bobby Doerr and Roberto Alomar, all of them members of the Hall of Fame.

Altuve used to be a leadoff man who slapped the ball around to different fields. However, this season the Astros moved him to the No. 3 spots in the batting order.

He responded with a career high 24 homers and led the league in hits with 216. He also won the batting title in the American League for the second time in the past three seasons.

Altuve is known for not striking out as he K’d just 70 times during the season, while walking 60 times during 717 appearances at the plate.

A surge in power by Altuve was surprising to many since often times an increase in power comes at the expense of another stat such as batting average or more strikeouts.

Altuve had his third consecutive season with 40 or more doubles. He hit five triples, which was a career high. He also increased his slugging percentage ending the season at .531.

The second baseman became the second Astros player to win this award. In 1994, Jeff Bagwell was given the honor.

Altuve received 84 votes. In second was Boston Red Sox slugger Mookie Betts with 64 votes. He was followed by David Ortiz the Red Sox DH with 41, Kris Bryant with the Chicago Cubs and Daniel Murphy with the Washington Nationals.

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