MLB Awards: 2017 American League MVP Ballot

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 05: Jose Altuve (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 05: Jose Altuve (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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1. Jose Altuve: Houston Astros

Despite his small size, Jose Altuve has proven to be one of the best hitters in the game. This year, he is set to finally get his due.

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Essentially blocked by Mike Trout, Altuve has yet to be in serious contention for an MVP award. His best finish, third, came last year, but that was a distant third. He has yet to earn a first place vote, despite having 200 or more hits for four consecutive years, and leading the league in batting average three times in that span.

This season was more of the same for the Astros second baseman. He posted a stellar .346/.410/.547 batting line, setting a career best in each category. Altuve also hit 24 homers and stole 32 bases, while posting another 204 hits. Defensively, Altuve led American League second basemen with 12 runs saved, and may well end up with a second Gold Glove award.

While the Houston Astros have improved this season, Altuve is easily their heart and soul. He was initially turned away from a tryout in Venezuela by Houston because of his size, but returned and impressed the team enough where they signed him for a $15,000 bonus. Since then, he developed into a superstar, using his past to continue to find his way to success. As the Astros look to win their first championship, they too are using their past failures as motivation to reach the top.

Next: 2017 NL Manager of the Year Ballot

Jose Altuve is not only one of the best players in baseball, but he is the most valuable player to the Astros. Considering how well both Altuve and the Astros performed this year, he should take home his first AL MVP award.