An Underdog Story Re-Visited

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By EricEnfermero (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
If you haven’t been paying attention you may have missed out on the new Mighty Mouse in baseball. His name is Jose Altuve. Though he may not be tall enough to ride all the rides at your local amusement park he is tall enough to stand with the big boys in MLB. If you only pay attention to what he has done on the field you are missing out on much of the story.

Altuve was not suppose to make it to the big leagues. He showed up for an open tryout for the Astros and after the first day was told to go home. Luckily for us as fans, he didn’t listen. He came back for day two of that workout and ultimately impressed the scouts enough to be signed.

We have seen Altuve over the years be a good on-base and batting average guy, not to mention he can steal a base whenever he wants to. This season however he has taken it to another level. He leads all of MLB in batting average and hits. He is second in second in total bases, top ten in stolen bases and third in Wins Above Replacement (WAR). On top of all that he has 21 home runs as of August 29th and is one of only five players with a 20/20 season to date.

Even with all of these impressive stats if you ask people outside of the main baseball fan base, and likely residents of the Houston area, they would have no clue who Jose Altuve is. He isn’t even the most well known player on his team thanks to last year’s Rookie of the Year Carlos Correa. He is by far the most underrated player in baseball and is making a very strong case to be the American League MVP. If I had a vote he would be my hands down MVP.

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Stanton to the DL, Again!

images-2_1Fragile is defined as easily broken, shattered, or damaged. For years I have defended Giancarlo Stanton and made the claim that his injuries are just bad luck and not because he is fragile. Finally it is time to reverse course. Stanton is fragile.

Once again Giancarlo will spend time on the disabled list this season. In Saturday’s game he limped off the field in the ninth inning with a groin injury and today we learned that he will go on the 15-day DL. We still don’t know the extent of the latest injury, but an MRI will be done soon to give the team a better idea as to what they are dealing with.

Stanton made his major league debut in 2010 with the Marlins as a 20 year old. In his rookie season he played in 100 games. In 2011 he played in a career high 150 games. Over his seven year career Stanton has played in 811 games, an average of 116 games per season. He has spent time on the disabled list in parts of multiple seasons. In 2011 he battled leg and eye injuries, 2012 knee soreness, 2013 a grade two hamstring injury, 2014 he was hit in the face by a Mike Fiers pitch and 2015 he broke the hamate bone in his left hand.

Stanton has tremendous talent and has been an all-star three out of the seven years he has been in the league, but none of that does any good if he can stay on the field and play. There is a saying in sports, the best ability is availability, and clearly Stanton does not always possess that ability.