By ROBERT HENSLEE, SportsRadio 610

Jose Altuve, one of the few exciting Astros prospects, made his major league debut and picked up his first big league hit in Tuesday’s game against the Washington Nationals. 

One day after starting secondbaseman Jeff Keppinger was traded to the San Francisco Giants, Altuve was starting at second base and batting 2nd for the Astros. General Manager Ed Wade says the Astros brought him up from the minors with plans to play him everyday.

The Astros most heralded hitting prospect was just 6 years old when Livan Hernandez, Washington’s starter, made his major league debut with Marlins in 1996. 

After going 0-for-4 in his first few appearances, Altuve lined a single to right field off All Star reliever Tyler Clippard in the bottom of the 9th inning.  Astros fans gave the 21-year-old Venezuelan a brief standing ovation as the Nats tossed the ball to the Astros dugout for safekeeping.  Altuve was removed from the game in the top of the 10th.

Altuve, who stands just 5-foot 6-inches tall has made a name for himself as a prospect this season, hitting .389 in 87 games combined at high-A Lancaster and double-A Corpus Christi.

Counting Brad Ausmus’ one inning at the position, Altuve  is the 18th second baseman the Astros have used since Craig Biggio retired after the 2007 season.

The Astros summoned Altuve from the minor leagues the same day Keppinger was shipped off in return for two minor league pitchers, Henry Sosa and Jason Stoffel.  Both are headed to the Hooks bullpen in AA.


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