If there is one pro-athlete who is making Venezuelans, and indeed Latinos proud, it is Jose Altuve. Altuve is a professional baseball player who plays for the Houston Astros in the MLB. Initially dismissed as too short to play baseball, he has risen to become one of the best players the league has ever seen.
The second baseman has received numerous individual honours, and in 2017, he won the World Series Championship with the Houston Astros. The victory is one of several high points of Jose Altuve’s long-running career since making his debut as a professional for the Astros in 2011.
He Became a Pro at 20 After a Successful Career in the Minor Leagues
Jose Altuve was just 16 when he stepped up to the plate for the first time for the Astros. He attended the team’s tryout camp in Maracay, and although he impressed, the team’s scouts believed he was too short for his age. His physical limitation was an asterisk that rested on his Jose’s mind even as he blew through the minor leagues with several impressive performances.
After convincing the Astros he did not lie about his age, they signed him as an undrafted free agent on March 6, 2007. He went on to begin a career in the minor leagues, playing for the Greeneville Astros. He had a batting average of .284 in his first season, which improved to .324 in the second, earning him a place in the league’s All-Star team.
Jose Altuve also received the Greeneville Astros’ Most Valuable Player award and secured a promotion to the Class A-Short Season New York-Penn League. He joined the Lexington Legends after a short stint with Tri-City ValleyCats in the New York-Penn League. At Lexington, he earned additional honours, a place in the league’s all-star team, after averaging .308 with 39 steals and 11 home runs.
These impressive performances did not go unnoticed by the Houston Astros, who kept tabs with his development. After delivering another fantastic set of performances over the season in the Class AA Texas League playing for the Corpus Christi Hooks in 2011, the Astros called him to Major League Baseball at 20.
Jose had recorded a batting average of .361, earning honours like Houston Astros Minor League Player of the Year. He also won a place in Baseball America’s 2011 Minor League All-Star Team.
Jose Altuve Won His First Silver Slugger Award in 2014
It did not take long after his promotion to the major league for Jose to show the Astros’ faith in him was not misplaced. Although he established himself as a superstar in 2014, he set the ground running in 2011, representing the Houston Astros at the 2011 All-Star Futures Game.
He also set new records, such as most consecutive games with a hit to a start a career, first Astros player since 2003 to hit an inside-the-park home run, and first to lead off a game with an inside-the-park home run since 1987. In the 2012 season, he was the lone Houston Astros player at the All-Star Game, the first of several selections to come.
However, in 2014, Jose Altuve raised his game to another level. He was named to his second All-Star game and set a record for single-season hit record with 210 hits, with eleven games to go. Jose ended the season with 225 hits and a .341 batting average, the first in the major leagues.
Along with 56 stolen bases, 47 doubles, seven home runs, and 59 RBI, he impressed enough to be awarded his first Silver Slugger Award. He also won the Breakout Everyday Player of the Year, the Luis Aparicio Award, and a place in the 2014 Major League Baseball Japan All-Star Series.
The Venezuelan Second Baseman Helped the Houston Astros to a World Series in 2017
Jose Altuve consolidated on his world-class 2014 performance with another excellent season in 2015. Quickly becoming a regular feature in the MLB All-Star Game, he was named in the team in 2015, beating his competitor by 600,000 votes. He also became the fastest Astro player to reach 800 hits, after getting 200 hits two seasons in a row.
He was a standout leader for the Astros in several statistical categories, helping them a playoff place on the last game of the season. Although the team eventually crashed out at the hands of The Royals, he won his second Silver Slugger Award and his first Rawlings Gold Glove Award.
The story was not significantly different in the 2016 season. Although the team did not manage a place in the playoffs, Jose Altuve performances earned him awards like his first AL Player of the Month, another All-Star appearance, and The Sporting News Player of the Year. He also won the MLBPA Players Choice Major Player of the Year, AL Outstanding Player, and Majestic Athletic Always Game Award and finished third in the AL MVP Award votes.
Finally, in 2017, the team matched Jose Altuve’s consistent excellence on the field and spurred a run through the playoffs. He finished the regular season with an MLB-leading and career-best .346 batting average, 204 hits, and 24 home runs, helping the Astros to a 101-61 record and winning the AL West Division.
In the playoffs, a solo home run by Jose in Game 7 win against the New York Yankees secured the Astros’ place in their second World Series appearance in franchise history. In the World Series game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Astros won over seven games, recording their first title in franchise history.
His 2017 Performance and Title Win Earned Him Multiple Awards and Accolades
Through their post-season 18-game run, Altuve batted .310, .388, .634, had seven home runs, 14 runs scored, 14 RBI, and nine extra-base hits. With 22 hits, he set an Astros record for most hits in a post-season. His performance earned him the Babe Ruth Award as MVP of the post-season and other awards from the regular season like the Hank Aaron Award.
Jose also won The Sporting News Major League Player of the Year, Baseball America’s Major League Player of the Year, and Players Choice Awards for Major League Player of the Year. Other awards include AL Outstanding Player and his fourth Silver Slugger Award.
He became the second Astros player ever to win the AL Most Valuable Player Award on November 16, becoming the shortest player to win the honour since 1950. Along with J.J Watt, he won the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year, becoming the 18th Major League Baseball Player and first Venezuelan player to win the award in 64 years. The Associated Press also named him the Male Athlete of the Year.
Jose Altuve Sent the Astros to Their Third World Series Appearance in 2019
Despite securing a place in the playoffs after another impressive season in 2018, where the Houston Astros finished with a 103-59 record, they could not land a spot in the World Series. The team succumbed to defeat in the ALCS by the Red Sox.
Jose, however, still impressed fans and pundits enough to secure awards like his sixth All-Star appearance despite suffering an injury layoff for the first time in his career during the season. He also won his fifth Silver Slugger Award, becoming the second most awarded second baseman of all-time.
In 2019, the Astros, with Jose firing on all cylinders, performed better. They secured a place in the World Series after another excellent regular season from Jose. He set a new record of nine grand slams in a single season and reached 1,500 career hit in 1,190 games.
His performance in the playoff season, including three home runs in a 3-2 series victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, earned him the ALCS MVP Award. Sadly, Jose Altuve’s playoff performance was not enough to edge the Washington Nationals at the 2019 World Series.
Consistent World-Class Performances Has Made Jose Altuve Over $57 Million in Earnings
Jose’s first contract with the Astros, back when the team had its doubts about him, fetched him $15,000 in March 2007. Today, he is on a five-year $151 million contract. It makes him one of the best earners in Major League Baseball and puts his overall earnings so far at $57.19 million.
After he became a major league pro, he signed a one year $414,000 contract. He continued to sign one-year deals for the next two years, earning $483,000 and $505,700 in each year. In 2014, he signed his first major deal, a four-year contract worth $12.5 million.
The deal earned Jose Altuve $1.25 million, $2.5 million, $3.5 million, and $4.5 million per year in salary across all four years. He also earned $750,000 in signing bonus and a $25,000 incentive in the first three years of the contract. After becoming one of the team and the league’s best performers, the Astros rewarded Jose’s contributions and impact with a mega-deal worth $151 million across five years in 2018.
The contract, which will earn Jose $26 million per year from the 2021 season, earned him a starting salary of $6 million in the first year. He made $6.5 million in 2019 and $9.7 million in 2020, with an additional $21 million earned in signing bonus.
Overall, Jose Altuve has earned $57.19 million in ten seasons as a player. If he fulfills the terms of his current contract, which runs till 2024, he would have earned $161.1 million as a player, making him one of the highest earners in Astros history.
Huge Earnings and Sponsorship Deals Have Made Jose $20 Million in Net Worth
His $57.19 million earnings have so far made him $20 million in net worth, with additional income coming via endorsements for brands like New Era Cap and Chevrolet. He also has a deal with CITGO, but for now, Jose’s primary source of income remains his Astros salary.
Some of his $57 million earnings have gone to a car collection that includes a Lexus and a Range Rover. He also lives in a beautiful home he bought in 2015, worth an estimated $1.3 million.
He is also known to spend a significant amount of his earnings on his family, particularly on vacations. Jose and his wife, Nina, have been seen vacationing at exotic locations like Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, Paris, and other beautiful cities in Europe.
Nina Altuve, the Wife of the Astros Second Baseman, is a Bioanalytics Graduate
The Houston Astros player is married to his high school sweetheart, Nina Altuve. Nina (full name – Giannina Elizabeth Cimetta Sandoval) was born on February 2, 1992, in Venezuela. She holds a degree in bioanalytics from the University of Carabobo, Venezuela. At Carabobo, she studied and living organisms and the management of natural resources.
She also has two brothers, Alfredo David, and Justo Emilio, with whom she shares a close relationship. Aside from her academic and familial connections, Nina is also quite notable for being a gorgeous woman. She made the Busted Coverage’s list of the Hottest WAGs of Major Baseball League Players in 2016.
However, despite her qualifications, Nina has chosen to be a stay at home mom, raising the couple’s children. It is one of many compromises the couple has had since they began their relationship in high school. Despite their young age, convinced they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, they got married on November 20, 2006.
Jose and Nina Altuve Have Become Parents to Two Daughters Since their Wedding
At the time of the wedding, the bride was 14 while Altuve himself was just 16. Since they became husband and wife, they have only grown as a couple. In 2016, they celebrated their tenth anniversary as married partners. In the same year, they welcomed their first child, a daughter, Melanie Andrea Altuve, born on October 30, 2016.
Three years after, on November 10, 2019, the couple announced they were pregnant with another daughter. In an elaborate general reveal party posted on Nina’s private Instagram, the Astros second baseman expressed the couple’s excitement at welcoming their second child in 2020.
Since he became a father, Jose Altuve has credited his daughter with helping him become a better and more focused player. In an interview with USA Today, the Houston Astros second baseman said she gives him a reason to compartmentalize his life, providing him with the right mental balance to overcome bad results.
Before the birth of their first daughter, the Venezuelan player had developed a reputation as an obsessive baseball player who spends most of his time playing or thinking about the sport.