|No surprise: Astros All-Star Jose Altuve looks up to Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia||07.10.12 at 3:26 pm ET|
KANSAS CITY — One of these All-Stars is not like the others.
Astros second baseman Jose Altuve has become a remarkable story. At just 5-foot-5, he’s emerged as a standout at second base in his first full year in the big leagues. He shows an incredible ability to put the barrel of the bat on the ball, resulting in a .303 average, .344 OBP, .438 slugging mark and .783 OPS with five homers and 15 stolen bases.
By virtue of his stature and position, there is one player to whom Altuve is inevitably compared. The 22-year-old from Venezuela suggested that he has heard his named mentioned with that of fellow undersized second baseman Dustin Pedroia “a lot of times,” but Altuve said that he will never complain to hear himself lumped in with the Red Sox second baseman.
“For me, he’s one of the best second basemen in the league. I want to be the same kind of player that he is right now,” said Altuve. “I would like to meet him and play against him. I can’t wait until that happens.”
While Altuve will have to wait for his introduction to Pedroia, he has seen up close another former Red Sox middle infielder. Jed Lowrie, whom the Sox traded to the Astros along with Kyle Weiland in exchange for reliever Mark Melancon, is hitting .254/.343/.461/.804 with 14 homers for the Astros.
“He’s a really good guy, really good shortstop, really good hitter, really good guy away from the field,” said Altuve. “It’s an honor to play with him.”
While Altuve is benefiting from his time with Lowrie, he quickly is forging his own reputation. There is no other baseball player who looks like him — even Pedroia would tower over him — yet he is asserting himself as a dynamic player in the batter’s box.
“There’s not a rule how you have to look to play baseball,” said Altuve. “Everywhere I go right now, people talk about my size. When I go to the field and play hard, they just come to me and say, ‘I like the way you play.’ I just go to the field, enjoy what I’m doing and do everything to help my team to win.”
- SoxProspects.com Podcast #34
- ESPNBoston: De La Rosa finding his way in Pawtucket
- Cup of Coffee: Bradley, Holt shine in PawSox loss
- Xander Bogaerts, Portland to headline Futures at Fenway
- SoxProspects Video of the Week: Matt Barnes
- Cup of Coffee: Henry, Diaz propel Pawtucket to blowout victory
- Cup of Coffee: Spring's walk-off grand slam lifts Portland
- Bradley: "Everything's back to normal"
- Cup of Coffee: PawSox, Drive produce walk-off wins
- PawSox activate Jackie Bradley, Jr. from disabled list