Baseball, in Venezuela, is a big deal, especially MLB.
The sport is played all over the country, and fans often follow their big leaguers closely to see what they did on any given day.
That’s why the results of the American League MVP race were particularly relevent to people there.
New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge took home the award, and deservedly so.
The Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, Houston Astros’ Yordan Alvarez and Cleveland Guardians’ Jose Ramirez finished second, third, and fourth in the vote conducted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA).
The fifth and sixth spots were held by Venezuelans, making their people proud.
José Altuve terminó en el 5to lugar en las votaciones del MVP de la Liga Americana. Andrés Giménez quedó en el 6to puesto. 🏆👏 pic.twitter.com/pU1Fy346xM
— MLB Venezuela (@MLBVenezuela) November 18, 2022
An Elite Middle Infield Duo
To see Altuve finishing fifth is really no surprise: according to wRC+, an all-inclusive offensive stat, he had a better season in 2022 than in 2017, the year in which he won the AL MVP.
He had a 164 wRC+ this campaign, and was at 160 back then.
The second baseman slashed .300/.387/.533 with 28 home runs, 103 runs, and 18 stolen bases.
Playing the same position as Altuve, but for the Guardians, Andres Gimenez took the league by storm in 2022 and his breakout party.
He was a part of the Francisco Lindor trade with the New York Mets.
He made the Guards wait a bit, but it was all worth it.
Gimenez slashed .297/.371/.466 with 17 homers, 20 steals, and a 140 wRC+, plus an All-Star berth and some incredible defense at second base.
He finished the season with 6.1 Wins Above Replacement, or WAR, putting him in elite territory.
A natural shortstop, Gimenez could be the starter there for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic.
Who would play next to him at second base?
Altuve, of course.
What a duo.