When people talk about the face of baseball, they usually talk about two people, Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. Both are amazing baseball players, but here are three reasons why neither of them are the face of the MLB, because the face of baseball is Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve.
1. Jose Altuve is a World Series champion, while Harper and Trout are still looking for their first championship.
When you think of the face of a sport, what do you think of? Well first off they have to be talented at their respective sport. They also have to be a winner. In the NFL, the face of the sport most of us can agree on is Tom Brady. He has 5 Super Bowls on his resumé. Lebron James, arguably the face of the NBA, has 3 NBA championships. Sidney Crosby, the most logical face of the NHL, has 3 Stanley Cups. This is an important trend that all faces of a sport should have, as Altuve is a World Series champ, but Bryce Harper can’t even make it to the NLCS and Trout’s Angels haven’t been in the post season since 2014.
2. Jose Altuve is someone all of us fans can relate too.
The backstory behind Jose Altuve is inspiring. Altuve standing at 5’6, was invited to an Astros tryout but was cut and told not to come back again by his evaluators. But he did go back anyways and impressed many observers and is now a Houston Astro. Being relatable to the fans should be a key factor in all faces of sports, who doesn’t love to root for the underdog? Tom Brady is far from an underdog nowadays, but he was only drafted in the sixth round of the NFL draft. Jose Altuve is someone we can all get behind and relate to, but the same can’t be said about Harper or Trout.
3. Altuve has been arguably just as good as Harper and Trout the past two years.
The final reason Altuve is the new face of baseball is because Altuve has been just as good over the past two years as Trout and Harper. Altuve’s stats over the past two years were that he batted .338 in 2016 and in 2017 he batted .346, he hit 24 home runs in both 2016 and 2017, and he had 96 RBIs in 2016 and 81 in 2017. Obviously very good numbers. Now lets compare him to Harper, who batted .243 in 2016 and .319 in 2017, hit 24 home runs in 2016 and 29 in 2017, and had 86 RBIs in 2016 and 87 RBIs in 2017. Harper can’t even touch Altuve on the batting average portion, slightly edges him in home runs, and Altuve edged Harper in RBIs in 2016 but Harper edged Altuve in 2017 in RBIs, but the batting average gap is just to wide, so the nod has to go to Altuve as the better ball player over the past two years. Now lets compare Altuve to Trout. Mike Trout batted .315 in 2016 and .306 in 2017, hit 29 home runs in 2016 and 33 in 2017, and had 100 RBIs in 2016 and 72 in 2017. Altuve beats out Trout in the average category, Trout then beats out Altuve in home runs, and Trout edges Altuve in RBIs in 16′ but Altuve edges out Trout in ’17. Pretty even numbers, you can go either way with this one. I’d say it’s a draw in who is the better ball player between Trout and Altuve.
It might be a draw in skill between Altuve and Trout, but make no mistake, Altuve is the new face of the MLB. Out producing Harper, winning a World Series while Harper or Trout can’t, and having an underdog background, Altuve is the new face of the MLB. Case closed.