Everything seemed to be going as planned for Jose Altuve in 2017. The Houston Astros’ second basemen had established himself as a superstar and won his first American League MVP Award. His squad won the AL West for the second consecutive year and he was seeking a World Series repeat.
However, Sports Illustrated’s Stephanie Apstein reports, even his own organization was not sold on his long-term future at second base.
The year Altuve won MVP, Houston was looking for ways to remove him from the only position he had played at a Major League level. Data released from Statcast showed that he was the worst second baseman in baseball at moving to his left.
The Astros’ front office discussed moving Altuve to the outfield, where they could utilize his speed coming in on balls and limit his hindrance moving laterally. Instead, they stuck with Altuve at his natural position because moving around one of the team’s most beloved players “would upset the rest of the players”.
Altuve was reportedly uncomfortable playing in the shift, both to his right side and in shallow right field.
In 2020, Altuve posted league-average numbers in errors (4) and fielding percentage (9.79).