From Afterthought To Foundation Of A Winner

Jose Altuve Wins Baseball America MLB Player Of The Year Award

DURHAM, N.C.—In the 20th year of the award, Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve became the first position player from Venezuela to earn Baseball America's Major League Player of the Year award.

Altuve, 27, is the first player from Venezuela to win the honor since Twins lefthander Johan Santana (2006). He earned the award for his all-around play that starts with his hitting ability. He won his second straight American League batting championship in 2017, leading MLB with a .346 average. His 204 hits also led the AL and marked his fourth consecutive season that he led the league and reached at least 200 hits. He also stole 32 bases in 38 attempts, his sixth consecutive year with 30 or more steals.

Altuve has kept pace with baseball's burgeoning power as well. He tied a career high with 24 homers, clubbed 39 doubles (falling one short of his fourth-straight year with 40 doubles) and slugged a career-best .547 while drawing 58 walks and striking out 84 times. He helped power the Astros to 101 victories, the second-best total in franchise history.

"His ability to make contact on all pitches, both in and out of the zone—that's always been his special ability," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "As he's matured, he's learned to lay off bad or borderline pitches, which has resulted in more damage on the pitches he goes after."

Altuve joins a club of winners that includes three-time winners Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Mike Trout. He's the first second baseman ever to win the award, which was launched in 1998, and the first infielder since Rodriguez won as a third baseman in 2007. That was the year Altuve signed with the Astros as a 16-year-old out of Venezuela. He headlines BA's All-MLB team that includes Trout, 2017 Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins, fresh off his 59-home run campaign.

Baseball America is a full-service media company with in-depth coverage of every level of baseball, from high school and college to the minors all the way to the major leagues. Baseball America magazine is published 24 times a year, and BaseballAmerica.com features BA’s signature content updated daily. Baseball America also publishes several annual reference books including the Prospect Handbook, the definitive resource on up and coming professional talent.

BASEBALL AMERICA MLB PLAYER OF THE YEAR WINNERS

1998 • Mark McGwire, 1b, Cardinals

1999 • Pedro Martinez, rhp, Red Sox

2000 • Alex Rodriguez, ss, Mariners

2001 • Barry Bonds, of, Giants

2002 • Alex Rodriguez, ss, Rangers

2003 • Barry Bonds, of, Giants

2004 • Barry Bonds, of, Giants

2005 • Albert Pujols, 1b, Cardinals

2006 • Johan Santana, lhp, Twins

2007 • Alex Rodriguez, 3b, Yankees

2008 • CC Sabathia, lhp, Indians/Brewers

2009 • Joe Mauer, c, Twins

2010 • Roy Halladay, rhp, Phillies

2011 • Matt Kemp, of, Dodgers

2012 • Mike Trout, of, Angels

2013 • Mike Trout, of, Angels

2014 • Clayton Kershaw, lhp, Dodgers

2015 • Bryce Harper, of, Nationals

2016 • Mike Trout, of, Angels

BASEBALL AMERICA ALL-MLB TEAM

Pos. Player, Team AVG OBP SLG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
C Buster Posey, Giants .320 .400 .462 494 62 158 34 0 12 67 6
1B Joey Votto, Reds .320 .454 .578 559 106 179 34 1 36 100 5
2B Jose Altuve, Astros .346 .410 .547 590 112 204 39 4 24 81 32
3B Nolan Arenado, Rockies .309 .373 .586 606 100 187 43 7 37 130 3
SS Francisco Lindor, Indians .273 .337 .505 651 99 178 44 4 33 89 15
CF Mike Trout, Angels .306 .442 .629 402 92 123 25 3 33 72 22
OF Aaron Judge, Yankees .284 .422 .627 542 128 154 24 3 52 114 9
OF Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins .281 .376 .631 597 123 168 32 0 59 132 2
DH Jose Ramirez, Indians .318 .374 .583 585 107 186 56 6 29 83 17
Pos. PITCHER W L ERA G SV IP H R ER BB SO
SP Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers 18 4 2.31 27 0 175 136 49 45 30 202
SP Corey Kluber, Indians 18 4 2.25 29 0 203.2 141 56 51 36 265
SP Chris Sale, Red Sox 17 8 2.90 32 0 214.1 165 73 69 43 308
SP Max Scherzer, Nationals 16 6 2.51 31 0 200.2 126 62 56 55 268
RP Kenley Jansen, Dodgers 5 0 1.32 65 41 68.1 44 11 10 7 109
RP Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox 5 0 1.43 67 35 69 33 11 11 14 126

*DH not limited to players who primarily played DH

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