At 5-6, 166 pounds, Jose Altuve is not your prototypical power hitter.
Yet the Astros second baseman’s 15 long balls this season lead Houston, and he blasted two more on Wednesday, making baseball history in the process.
Altuve’s leadoff dinger made him the first player to launch a leadoff homer after belting a walk-off grand slam the previous game.
Altuve has had a remarkable career trajectory, both in terms of his performance and his financial compensation.
Denied a chance to participate in an Astros tryout camp at 16 because of his size and youthful appearance, the Venezuelan eventually got an opportunity to showcase his skills as an undrafted free agent worth $15,000.
Since then, the 31-year-old has been a six-time All-Star, won the American League batting title in 2014, ’16, and ’17, and was named AL MVP in 2017.
In March of 2018, Altuve inked a five-year, $151 million contract that featured a $21 million signing bonus. He is making $29 million this season, tops on the Astros and tied for 15th in MLB.
In addition to the 15 homers, Altuve is hitting .294 with 36 RBI and an .874 OPS that ranks 24th.
Those numbers give him the 10th-best odds to win AL MVP (+4,000).