Houston Astros Photo Day
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Jose Altuve is getting ready to represent Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. They kick off the tournament Saturday, March 11, against the Dominican Republic.

Team Venezuela won an exhibition game on Thursday against the New York Mets by a score of 6-4. In the game, Jose Altuve hit two home runs on just two pitches.

Altuve is no stranger to first-pitch home runs. He’s unlike most hitters who must take the first pitch to be comfortable. If you throw it in his wheelhouse on a 0-0 count, you better watch out.

If this is the type of player Venezuela is getting for the tournament, they may make it out of the “pool of death.” They play in Pool D, which is considered the toughest pool in the World Baseball Classic, with teams like Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Fans reacted to Altuve’s performance, taking to social media:

Jose Altuve finished the 2022 season just three home runs shy of tying his career high of 31. He’s really shown consistent power over the last couple of seasons.

@TalkinBaseball_ Tuve just owns the city of NY. Doesn’t matter the jersey. 🫡

@TalkinBaseball_ Tuve just owns the city of NY. Doesn’t matter the jersey. 🫡

Don’t be surprised if Altuve eclipses 31 home runs this year. He’s looking incredible this early into the season.

Jose Altuve is returning to his former 2017 AL MVP ways

Division Series - Seattle Mariners v Houston Astros - Game One
Division Series – Seattle Mariners v Houston Astros – Game One

2017 was, by far, Jose Altuve’s best season. He won the American League MVP Award while leading the league in hits (204) and batting average (.346). He was an absolute monster that season.

Last season, Altuve posted a .300 batting average for the first time since 2018. He also had the second-best OPS of his career (.921). He really saw the ball well last season.

With the implementation of the pitch clock in MLB, we could see him continue to dominate at the plate. He’s always ready at the plate; see the two first-pitch home runs above. All it takes is one pitcher to rush and make a mistake, and Altuve will make him pay.

The Houston Astros have a solid chance to repeat as World Series champions this year. Players like Yordan Alvarez and Jeremy Pena are sure to step up and continue to play at an All-Star level. Outfielder Kyle Tucker is searching for a long-term contract. Watch for him to have a monster year this year.

With their talent, don’t be shocked if the Astros remain at the top when the season is all said and done.

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