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Jose Altuve sparks Astros' culture change with hustle

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All out, all day.

Bob Levey/Getty Images

It's been whirlwind of a season for the Houston Astros, from the basement four of the last five season to now first place in the American League West. Only four players have remained through the Astros' transition from the National League to the American League: Dallas Keuchel, Jason Castro, Marwin Gonzalez, and Jose Altuve. Sure, no one would call them a 'core four' but these four players helped turn the Astros around to where they are today, especially Jose Altuve.

At every turn, Jose Altuve has been questioned. At 5'5'', scouts initially told him to go home because he was too small. But instead Altuve showed up the next and impressed the Astros' scouts enough to sign him.

Altuve fought through the Astros minor league system, batting .302 in between Single A Tri-City Valleycats and Greenville, .301 in 2010 with Single A Lexington and Lancaster, and .389 between Single A Lancaster and Double A Corpus Christi.

The Astros called up him up in 2011 out of Double A with about 60 games left in the season. He batted .276 (61x221) with 10 doubles, two home runs, 26 runs scored, and 12 RBIs. It would be his only major league season in which he has played less than a 100 games in a major league season for the Astros.

Between 2012 and 2014, Altuve has averaged 152.3 games played per season. He has been the example for hustle for this team - with a batting average of .306 with an 41.3 steals per season.

The hustle Altuve displayed  culminated with a career season in 2014, becoming the first Astros to win a batting title. Altuve lead the Major League in batting average with a .341 average. He collected 47 doubles, 7 home runs, 59 RBIs, and 59 stolen bases.

In 2015, Altuve's play has been the example for the Astros young players -- George Springer and Carlos Correa. The fans have also come around, the fans voted Altuve as a starter in the 2015 All-Star Game.

It's plays like that sets the tone for the Astros:

Altuve is the dirty heart and soul of these young, aggressive Astros.

★★★

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