Jose Altuve's stickball swing is far from MVP caliber

Mark TownsendYahoo Sports Contributor
Big League Stew
Despite his MVP status in MLB, <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/teams/hou/" data-ylk="slk:Houston Astros">Houston Astros</a> second baseman Jose Altuve hasn’t yet mastered stickball. (AP)
Despite his MVP status in MLB, Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve hasn’t yet mastered stickball. (AP)

Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is pure dynamite at the plate. The three-time American League batting champion and current MVP is so skilled, it often feels like he could go 3-for-5 at the plate with his eyes closed.

While that theory will certainly never be tested, there’s at least some visual evidence now that Altuve is more human than machine when it comes to hitting a ball with a stick. The video comes from his native Venezuela, where Altuve recently took some time to play stickball with local residents. And it actually shows Altuve looking overmatched.

Altuve may have been given a heroes welcome and greeted with the customary chants of MVP before stepping up, but he looked nothing like an MVP or the author of four straight 200-hit seasons while taking those awkward swings. Granted, stickball is an entirely different game, but we would expect nothing less than frozen ropes no matter where Altuve is taking his cuts.

Of course, the real story here has nothing to do with Altuve’s swing. It’s about the time he spent with so many of the Venezuelan children who look up to him and want to emulate his style. He understands the importance of reaching out and interacting with those kids every time he returns home. This time was no different.

With that said, don’t think Altuve won’t head back to Houston this offseason with some new found determination. He’s already mastered hitting MLB pitching, and we fully expect that to continue in 2018. But this video surfacing might be slightly embarrassing. As such, we now fully expect Altuve to be wearing out stickball pitchers too by this time next year.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Yahoo Sports Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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