At the end of last week and then over the weekend, MLB Network took to Twitter to determine which Astro would be the Face of the Franchise. Despite Ryan's best efforts to scare the bejeezus out of all of us with his George Springer/Orbit mashup, the winner was pretty much expected:
I would argue that this may be the last year that Altuve wins this award. By next winter, George Springer will have played significant time in Houston, tearing the cover off the ball and making highlight reel plays. If Jason Castro goes to another All-Star game (a distinct possibility with Mauer headed to first base), then he could take that crown. Heck, if Mark Appel makes a mid-season appearance in the rotation, he could steal the title away.
Jose Altuve is always going to be a popular player, but it's not for how he performs. It's for all the things around him. He'll be more famous than Homer Bush, Josh Barfield or Warren Morris (all guys in his top 5 Similarity Scores) because of How Many Altuves? and the time he's playing in. Houston just lost over 300 games in the past three seasons combined. That takes a toll on our poor Astros fans.
Thus, they gravitate to good stories. Altuve's is a great story. He overcame perception issues because of his height. He persevered through long odds by just hitting and hitting and hitting. He shook off a bad year in 2013 and still signed a lucrative contract extension.
Altuve may not be the face of the franchise, but I can guarantee there are six- and seven-year-old Astros fans who will look back on this era and claim Altuve as their favorite player. They'll be wearing Carlos Correa jerseys and acknowledge that he and Springer were better players, but the Legend of Altuve will carry the day in their minds.
That's the only reason I'm okay with Altuve winning over Springer. Think of the children. Why won't anyone think of the children?