Altuve headed to All-Star Game on players' vote
Astros second baseman and MLB hits leader to enjoy second Midsummer Classic
ANAHEIM -- In typical Jose Altuve fashion, the second baseman began by thanking his Astros teammates and the coaching staff upon learning Sunday afternoon he had made the American League All-Star team after being voted in by the players.
Altuve's selection to the All-Star Game, which is the second of the 24-year-old's career, certainly came as no surprise, considering he's led the Major Leagues in hits and the AL in stolen bases for much of the season. And he's easily been the Astros' most consistent offensive player.
Altuve will represent Houston at Target Field in Minneapolis on July 15.
"It feels really good," Altuve said. "First of all, I want to thank all the players, and I want to thank all the fans that voted for me, too. But this is really important: One thing I have to say is it wouldn't happen without my teammates and my coaching staff. I don't want to mention all those names, but I want to thank all the guys that are in the room. They're doing everything for me and trying to support me."
Altuve could be joined in Minneapolis by teammate Dallas Keuchel, the left-handed starting pitcher who's one of five players competing for the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian, which will determine the last spot in the AL. The Astros haven't had two players make the All-Star Game since Hunter Pence and Miguel Tejada in 2009.
Keuchel is 8-5 with a 3.06 ERA in 16 starts this year, including three complete games, but is more enthused about Altuve than anything.
"He's the most consistent hitter I've pretty much ever seen," Keuchel said. "He deserves nothing but the credit he's getting. In my case, the last couple of outings haven't been as good as I would have liked, and it's just the game of baseball. The first half I put up, I gave the team a good shot to win every fifth day."
Altuve, the 5-foot-6 hitting machine, has 122 hits, which leads the Majors and leaves him one shy of Bob Watson's club record prior to the All-Star break. With 38 stolen bases, he is on pace to make a run at the club single-season record, while leading the AL with a .337 batting average.
"From last season, he felt like he left a lot to be desired on the field, and [he made the] commitment to his profession and his career and getting himself in the best shape of his life and showing up in Houston in January determined to be the best player he can be," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "As his manager, I feel completely honored. It brings joy to your heart when you see someone work as hard as Jose has worked and to be rewarded."
Altuve hit .411 with 39 hits and was 17-for-17 on stolen-base tries in June. Porter said Altuve's impact has gone beyond what he's done with the bat, though. He's emerged as a leader for the Astros' young team.
"It doesn't surprise me at all. He doesn't talk about himself, and it speaks volumes about him as a person and a leader," Porter said.
Jose Altuve, 2B
Prior ASGs: 2012
ASG W-L: 1-0
ASG stats: 0-for-1
How he made 2014 AL/NL team: Elected by players
Why he's an All-Star: Altuve has led the Major League in hits for most of the season, as well as leading the AL in stolen bases. He has a chance to become the second player since 1957 to lead the league in hits, steals and batting average at the All-Star break.
DYK?: Because he made the All-Star team during Houston's final season in the National League in 2012, Altuve has now made the All-Star Game in both leagues.
Quotable: "I'm not surprised at all. You look at the numbers and what it is he's been able to do here and the way he's impacted the game, he's put together one of the best first halves in the history of baseball. When you look at the number of hits and the way he impacts the game and how he helps other players around him, he has done everything that an All-Star can be asked to do," -- Porter
Immediately following the announcement of the AL and NL All-Star rosters on Sunday, fans began voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each league until the winners are announced after the voting concludes on Thursday at 3 p.m. CT.
The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans help choose the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and via Twitter in the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers, for the first time, will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 platforms that support MLB.TV, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.