On Thursday, Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve won the 2017 AL Most Valuable Player award. He outdistanced Cleveland Indians infielder Jose Ramirez and New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge with 405 total voting points, thanks to 27 of 30 first-place ballots.
Aaron Judge occupied second rank with 279 points whereas Jose Ramirez was third with 237 points. Altuve said, “It’s an honor to be MVP, but I really have to say the fans back in Houston and my teammates made me an MVP this season,”.
Altuve tied onetime Philadelphia A’s pitcher Bobby Shantz and former Yankees shortstop Phil Rizzuto as the shortest Most Valuable Players in baseball history. “That’s what I love about baseball, that it gives the opportunity for every single guy to develop and play the game”, Altuve said.
The 5’6″ taller second baseman added, “There’s not a rule that you have to be 6 foot or you have to be real strong to play baseball or to become a good player.’’ Altuve became the first American League player to win AL MVP award and Word series in the same year after Detroit Tigers’ Willie Hernandez, who did so in 1984.
Later, Altuve said, “I was surprised not by the vote; I was surprised that I won. I wasn’t expecting this. You see Aaron Judge and you see Jose Ramirez, they had really good seasons. I was really happy to be in the top three finalists with them, and then all of a sudden they announce the MVP and it was me. I couldn’t believe it.’’
Speaking about Altuve, Astros manager A.J. Hinch said,”It’s awesome for him and our organization. I’m so proud of him because I think even watching him on TV, you see the humility and how he automatically tries to bring up as many teammates as he can in the conversation”.
“He was consistent and his standards are high and he wants to get better, and to see him as one of the few guys that’s sort of run his entire career through this organization, it’s nice to see him get rewarded and earn this.”, Hinch added.