Houston Astros AL MVP Favorite Jose Altuve Wins 2017 American League Batting Title & Third Title Overall!

Jose Altuve finished the 2017 regular season with a major league-best .346 batting average and secured his third American League batting title in the last four seasons.

Altuve’s average set a career high and was the best by an Astro since Moises Alou hit .355 in 2000. The Astros’ star second baseman batted .341 when he won his 2014 batting title and .338 last year. He joined Miguel Cabrera (four) and Joe Mauer (three) as recent American League players to win at least three career batting titles. Ty Cobb holds the AL record with 11.

 Altuve is the first major leaguer to win back-to-back batting titles since Cabrera won three straight from 2011-13. Between the two of them, a Venezuelan has won the AL batting title in seven consecutive seasons.

Chicago White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia, also from Venezuela and a friend of Altuve, finished second in AL batting average at .330. Charlie Blackmon of the Rockies won the NL batting title with a .331 clip. Blackmon also led the majors in hits with 213.

 Altuve’s .346 average is the third-best in a single season for an Astros player who had enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title. Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell batted .368 in his 1994 NL MVP season, which was strike-shortened. He finished second in the NL in average that season to Tony Gwynn (.394). Alou’s .355 in 2000 also ranked second, behind Todd Helton (.372).

Altuve, who went 0-for-2 in the Astros’ regular season finale at Fenway Park on Sunday afternoon, finished a double shy of 40 for the season. His 204 hits were 12 more than the AL player with the next-most, Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer.

 Altuve became the first player in major league history to lead his league outright in hits in four consecutive seasons. Ichiro led the AL in his for five consecutive seasons from 2006 to 2010 but tied with Dustin Pedroia in 2008.

By Jake Kaplan