Most baseball fans know by now Jose Altuve is one of the smallest players in the game today. Now, even more know he is one of the best players in the league as well.
Altuve signed for a mere $15,000 out of Venezuela in 2006. Some international free agents have huge expectations, but clearly, Altuve was not one of them. Everything about Altuve is small – his initial contract, expectations, and yes, his stature. He has clearly exceeded all expectations and seems to only be getting better.
Altuve is the winner of CBBSN’s first Plucked From Obscurity (PFO) award for the month of July. The Plucked From Obscurity award is given to the best player over the past month who was plucked from obscurity – a small school draftee or even a small international free agent signing. Altuve has hit an absurd .484/.525/.747 this month to go along with four homeruns, 19 RBIs and seven stolen bases.
For the season, he continues to lead all of baseball with 33 doubles and a .365 batting average. Altuve is second to only Aaron Judge in WAR at 5.5 and wRC+ at 173 and is top five in OBP and OPS. Finally, what is most impressive about Altuve in July, this season and his entire career is how well he hits against both righties and lefties. In 2017, Altuve is hitting .351/.419/.574 against lefties and .370/.432/.580 against righties. He just keeps getting better.
For only $15,000 out of Venezuela, it is safe to say the Houston Astros got their money’s worth. Altuve has exceeded expectations his entire career because of his height and other reasons to become one of the best players in baseball. How good can Altuve become? Time will only tell, but he started from the bottom and now he is here – one of the best baseball players on the planet.