Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve and Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton have little in common. One is a 6-6, 245 pound former highly-ranked prospect who mashes home runs despite a .265 career batting average. The other is a 5-6, 165 pound underdog who consistently leads the league in hits and posts exceptional batting averages.
For one night, though, Altuve did a pretty good Stanton impression. In the top of the ninth inning, Altuve showed he’s just got as much pop as the reigning Home Run Derby champ. Altuve smacked a ball so hard he managed to hit the Marlins’ home run sculpture out in left center field.
The blast came in the top of the ninth inning off reliever Dustin McGowan. On a 1-1 count, McGowan missed his spot and left a 92 mph fastball up and out over the plate. Altuve took a mighty swing and sent the ball 425 feet into the night.
Altuve is not known as a power hitter, though he did smack 24 bombs last season. Still, this was pretty impressive. If you saw everything about the play except who hit it, like the trajectory of the ball, distance and ballpark, you would most likely assume it was Stanton. If Stanton was ruled out and you had your pick of players on either the Astros or Marlins, Altuve might not even be in the top-5.
What did we learn here? Baseball is unpredictable. Hardly a groundbreaking revelation, we admit. But who cares? We’ll always celebrate home runs that get obliterated. Even more so when they come from a surprising course like Altuve.
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