Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve has gotten better each year with the bat. He already had one the quickest bats and some best play coverage in baseball. In 2016, he had added a little more pop. Altuve’s constant grown that plate has been reflected in the fact that Louisville Slugger announced Thursday that Altuve won his third consecutive Silver Slugger Award as the top offensive second baseman in the American League.
Altuve becomes the first Astros player to win three straight Silver Slugger Awards (2014-2016) and becomes the third player in franchise history to win at least three in their career — joining Craig Biggio (1989 1994-95, 1997-98) and Jeff Bagwell (1994, 1997, 1999).
Per the Astros press release:
Altuve won the AL batting title with a .338 (216x640) average in 2016, while posting 108 runs scored, 42 doubles, 24 home runs, 96 RBI, 60 walks, 30 stolen bases, a .396 on-base percentage, a .531 slugging percentage and a .928 OPS. In addition to leading all American League players in batting average, he also led the circuit in hits, while ranking tied for second in stolen bases, third in WAR (7.6), tied for third in doubles, fourth in OBP, fourth in total bases (340) and fifth in OPS. On top of his well-rounded season, Altuve took home two AL awards in 2016, the AL Player of the Month for June and the AL Player of the Week for the week of April 11-17.
His historic season is one of the best by a second baseman in Major League history, as he became the first second baseman to reach 100 runs, 200 hits, 40 doubles, 20 homers, 95 RBI and 30 steals in a single season. He's just the fifth player in Major League history to reach all of those marks, regardless of position. By winning the batting title for the second time in the last three seasons, Altuve became the first second baseman to win multiple batting titles since Rod Carew won five between the 1969-75 seasons.
Altuve is the 10th Astro to have won a Silver Slugger Award: Altuve (2014-16), outfielder Carlos Lee (2007), third baseman Morgan Ensberg (2005), left-handed pitcher Mike Hampton (1999), outfielder Moises Alou (1998), Bagwell (first base in 1994, 1997, 1999), Biggio (catcher in 1989, second baseman in 1994-95, 1997-98), first baseman Glenn Davis (1986), outfielder Jose Cruz (1983-84) and shortstop Dickie Thon (1983).
Established in 1980, the Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Awards are the top offensive honors in Major League Baseball. Managers and coaches of all 30 Major League teams vote for the players they feel are the best offensive producers at each position in both the American and National Leagues.