As soon as Jeff Luhnow learned a reporter was writing a story about second baseman Jose Altuve’s career ceiling, the Astros general manager wanted in.

Too many scouts, analysts, critics and “experts” had written off Altuve. Even with his 2012 All-Star reserve appearance, the 5-5, 175-pound Altuve continues to be overlooked. He was a good player on baseball’s worst team last season. This year, he is the face of a franchise that is rebuilding, lacks recognizable players and has the lowest payroll in the game.

Playing in relative anonymity overshadows Altuve’s assets. His obvious speed and aggressiveness, which resulted in 33 stolen bases and 80 runs scored in 2012. His deceptive pop, which produced 34 doubles and 167 hits in 147 games. His improving defensive range and clubhouse leadership.