HOUSTON -- The Astros' rallying cry for the 2017 season was "Earn It," which later in the season turned into "Earn History," which eventually became, after the Game 7 World Series clincher, "Earned History."Right in the middle of everything good that happened to the Astros was second baseman Jose Altuve,
HOUSTON -- The Astros' rallying cry for the 2017 season was "Earn It," which later in the season turned into "Earn History," which eventually became, after the Game 7 World Series clincher, "Earned History."
Right in the middle of everything good that happened to the Astros was second baseman Jose Altuve, who capped a dominant regular season with an equally impressive October, helping his team win the first World Series championship in club history.
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Altuve earned every bit of individual glory that came his way, including the American League Most Valuable Player Award, the Players Choice Awards for Player of the Year and AL Most Outstanding Player and, as announced on Friday, the Esurance MLB Award for Best Major Leaguer.
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Of the myriad categories that comprise the Esurance MLB Awards, Best Major Leaguer is considered the most prestigious. In the grand finale of awards season, Altuve, the Astros' No. 3 hitter in the batting order, cleaned up.
"Thanks, Esurance, my teammates and all the fans that made this possible, because this award includes players from both leagues, and I want to thank you guys again for making this come true," Altuve said.
• Altuve tops all as MLB's Best Major Leaguer
A five-time All-Star, Altuve won this third career and second consecutive batting title, leading the Majors with a .346 average. He also led the American League with 204 hits to accompany 24 homers, 81 RBIs and 32 stolen bases. He led the Majors with 23 games in which he recorded at least three hits.
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Altuve began his epic postseason with a bang, launching three home runs in Game 1 of the AL Division Series against the Red Sox. He totaled 22 hits over 71 postseason at-bats for a .310 average, hit seven homers and drove in 14 runs. He ended the postseason with a 1.021 OPS.
Esurance MLB Awards nominees are voted on based on the regular season and the postseason, which helped Altuve win Best Major Leaguer by a landslide. For much of the voting body, this was an easy decision.
"Altuve was the most consistent and best performer in baseball, a manager and GM's dream player in 2017," said MLB.com and MLB Network analyst Jim Duquette.
Added former player Jeff Montgomery: "I selected Jose Altuve as my Best Major Leaguer because of the way he elevated his game in the postseason after completing one of the best regular-season performances in all of baseball. He's a gamer."
Altuve beat out two other top finalists in the Best Major Leaguer category: Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge, who was runner-up to Altuve in AL MVP voting, and National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton.
The Esurance MLB Awards annually honor MLB's greatest achievements as part of an industry-wide balloting process that includes five groups, each of which accounts for 20 percent of the overall vote: media, front-office personnel, retired MLB players, fans at MLB.com and Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) members.
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The MLB Awards are an all-inclusive program, encompassing the top players and performances from both the American and National Leagues from Opening Day through the end of the postseason.
Voting led off with seven categories (Personality of the Year; Best Defensive Player; Best Play, Offense; Best Play, Defense; Best Performance; Best Fan Catch; Best Player-Fan Interaction) on Sept. 18 at mlb.com/awards, serving as the grand entrance of a program that unveiled the Best Call, TV/Radio; Best Major Leaguer, Postseason; and Best Postseason Moment categories following the Fall Classic's final out.
The ninth inning of voting began around BBWAA Awards week, giving fans the opportunity to help determine the Best Major Leaguer, Pitcher, Rookie, Manager and Executive. All of the winners were announced on MLB Network and MLB.com on Friday night.
In addition to Best Major Leaguer, Altuve was also named Best Major Leaguer, Postseason, along with teammate Justin Verlander.
Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.