Jose Altuve is a name to reckon with in the world of American baseball. The Houston Astros star who is also the reigning American League MVP began his career with the Astros in 2007 as an amateur free agent before he was later promoted to the major leagues in 2011 where he has remained till date.
The dynamic player is the 6th player in the history of the major league as well as the second position player to ever get a contract worth an average of $30 million yearly. Other players who have been able to reach this benchmark and maybe a little above includes Max Scherzer ($30M), Clayton Kershaw($30.7M), David Price ($31M), Miguel Cabrera ($31M), and Zack Greinke($34.4 million).
Here are all the other facts you need to know about one of America’s biggest and skilled baseball players.
How It All Began…
The Venezuelan player was born and raised in the Venezuelan city of Maracay, May 6, 1990. His love for baseball led him to a Houston Astros’ tryout camp in Maracay at the age of 16. The team’s scouts refused him entrance for two reasons; they thought he was too short and secondly, they suspected he lied about his age. The young aspiring baseball player thought of quitting but with words of encouragement from his dad, the next day he was back at the camp with his birth certificate as an evidence that he isn’t lying about his age.
A special assistant for the Astros at the time by the name Al Pedrique looked him straight in the eyes and asked him if he could play, Altuve looked him back in the eyes and replied “I’ll show you” and he did show not just Al Pedrique but every other person who cared to know that he can actually play. After convincing team officials that he had all it takes to play on the team, he was signed on as a free agent in March 2007 for $15,000.
After a successful 2007 season at the Venezuelan Summer League, he moved to the U.S and played for the Greeneville Astros in the Appalachian League (Rookie-level) in 2008 and 2009 seasons. His 324 with 21 stolen bases in 45 games in the 2009 season earned him not just a spot on the league All-Star team, but he was also named the team’s most valuable player. He was promoted to the Tri-City ValleyCats of the Class A-Short Season New York-Penn League for which he played in 21 games.
In 2010, he began his season with the Lexington Legends of the Class A South Atlantic League before moving over to the Lancaster JetHawks Class A-Advanced California League. This would be his last as a free agent, the following year (2011), he got promoted to the major league. Jose Altuve made his major league debut in July 2011 and has remained with the team since then.
So far, he has recorded so many successes and has led the team to several victories. He has recorded 84 home runs in his career as the second in history to do that. Thrice, he has been voted the starting second baseman for the AL in the All-Star Game.
In 2018, Jose Altuve agreed to a five-year, $151 million extension with the Astros after the four-year, $12.5 million extensions he signed in 2013.
Jose has won so many awards that they are just too numerous to list but here are some. Between 2014 – 2017, he won three batting championships, he is also a five-time MLB All-Star.
In 2017, he won the Hank Aaron Award for AL Most Valuable Player. In the same year, he also became a World Series champion with the Astros. Other Awards he received in 2017 include:
- The Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year Awards
- The Sporting News Awards for Major League Player of the Year
- The Baseball America’s Award for Major League Player of the Year.
Jose Altuve has also won four Silver Slugger Awards and one Rawlings Gold Glove.
His Wife (Nina), Family
The five-time All-Star is married to Giannina Elizabeth Cimetta Sandoval, she, however, goes by the short name Nina. The couple welcomed their first child together (a daughter) Melanie Andrea, on the 1st of November, 2016. Altuve and Nina have been together since he was 16.