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Jose

(AP Photo / Nick Wass)

Jose Altuve is Quietly Having an Outstanding Year in 2022

Jose
(AP Photo / Nick Wass)

Jose Altuve is Quietly Having an Outstanding Year in 2022

I’d be a broken record if I mentioned the Astros cheating scandal. Fans have shunned many players from that team. Second baseman Jose Altuve, once one of the league’s most prominent stars, has been off the radar as a result. Little do many realize that he’s having an epic 2022 campaign.

Since the cheating came to light in the 2019 offseason, Altuve’s performance noticeably declined. He wasn’t the player he once was. His numbers from 2020 were horrible. He slashed an abysmal .219/.278/.344. Once fans came back, they booed him relentlessly at almost every ballpark he set foot in.

Much of this backlash arose from his pennant-winning home run in 2019 off Yankee closer Aroldis Chapman. People noticed that he wouldn’t allow his teammates to rip off his jersey in celebration. This led many to believe Altuve played that game with a buzzer, letting him know what pitches were coming.

However, this was never proven to be true after an investigation by MLB took place. Yet this didn’t stop fans of the game from yelling jarring remarks toward him. This was sad too, as Altuve was essentially the scapegoat.

In 2022, cascades of boos still rain down from the crowd directed towards Altuve, who in fact, is one of the last remaining members of that 2017 team. This season is different, though.

I believe Altuve possesses a special ability to drown out the hate, as he must be used to it. His stats prove it, too. Statistically, Altuve is having his best season since his tainted MVP campaign in 2017. The second baseman is batting .297/.387/.530 with 28 home runs and a 159 OPS+.

His WAR is no joke either. He sits at 6.5 which many consider being elite. His OPS+ ranks him third in the American League directly behind teammate Yordan Alvarez. These attributes will indeed lead Jose to some MVP votes, yet will fall short with players like Judge and Ohtani having outstanding years.

Love it or hate it, the Astros have an epic team. Altuve has been a big cog in that lineup. They’re poised once again to make a deep postseason run. The question is: Can Jose be the clutch performer without the controversy? Perhaps.

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