HOUSTON, TX - Major League Baseball announced tonight that Astros second baseman Jose Altuve has been named to the 2014 American League All-Star team as a reserve. The A.L. and National League starters and reserves were announced today during a telecast on ESPN. Additionally, left-handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel has been named to the Final Vote ballot, which will open for fan voting tonight beginning at 7 p.m. CT.
Altuve, 24, will be making his second All-Star Team, having been named a National League reserve in 2012. He entered today's game leading the American League in hits (121), stolen bases (37) and batting average (.338). If Altuve is able to keep this pace through the All-Star break, he would become just the second player since 1957 to lead his league in all three categories at the break, joining Ichiro Suzuki in 2003 (Elias).
Altuve has already had historic moments this season, becoming the first player in 97 years to record a multi-steal game in four consecutive contests. After today's game, he is now just one hit shy of tying the franchise record for hits before the All-Star break, which was accomplished by Bob Watson (123 hits) in 1973.
Altuve is just the third Astros second baseman to make the All-Star Team, and along with Craig Biggio is one of two Astros second baseman to make it in multiple seasons. Biggio was a six-time All-Star as a second baseman (1992, 1994-98), while Joe Morgan made it to the Midsummer Classic for Houston in 1970.
Keuchel, 26, has gone 8-5 with three complete games and a 3.06 ERA (37ER/108.2IP) in 16 starts this season. Among American League pitchers, Keuchel ranks tied for first in complete games and ninth in ERA. He also ranks seventh in WAR (3.2), which is helped by his Major League leading 3.67 ground ball to fly ball ratio.
Keuchel has been the Astros most consistent starter this season, and has already been recognized by the A.L. in 2014 by winning the league's Player of the Week Award for the week of May 19-26. During that week, Keuchel went 2-0 with a complete game and a 1.02 ERA (2ER/17.2IP).
The Final Vote began in 2002 and this marks the fourth time an Astro has appeared on the ballot. Outfielder Carlos Lee (2008) and right-handed pitcher Roy Oswalt (2005, 2007) were the other two players to make the ballot, with Oswalt winning the fan vote in 2005.
The ballot for the 2014 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by Experian will open to fans tonight at 7 p.m. CT. Voting will be open until Thursday, July 10 at 3 p.m. CT. There is no limit on the number of times an individual can vote and the ballot can be accessed by visiting Astros.com.