Cuicchi: Pint-sized MLB stars Altuve, Albies reminiscent of New Orleans phenom Allan Montreuil

From SABR member Richard Cuicchi at Crescent City Sports on July 22, 2018:

Major leaguers Jose Altuve and Ozzie Albies look like boys playing among men on the baseball diamond, especially when their opponents are hulks Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.  The two diminutive infielders bring to mind a New Orleans native from yesteryear, Allan Montreuil, who reached the majors despite his five-foot-five, 158 pound stature.

Altuve is all of 5’ 6” tall while Albies is the “giant” of the two at two inches taller.  Despite their relatively small size, compared to most of their teammates and opponents, they stand tall on the diamond when it comes to displaying their hitting and fielding skills.

Altuve is the reigning American League MVP for the 2017 World Series champion Houston Astros.  Currently in his eighth major-league season, the second baseman has already won three batting titles and is currently on a pace to record his fifth consecutive 200-hit season.  He also shows surprising pop in his bat for a player his size, as he has slugged twenty or more home runs in the past two seasons.

Albies, in only his first full major-league season with the Atlanta Braves, made the 2018 National League all-star team.  He is the league-leader in runs scored with 74 runs, to go along with 20 home runs and 55 RBI at the All-Star break.  Also a second baseman, he is a big reason the Braves are contending for the NL East Division title this year.

Growing up in the 1950s in New Orleans, Montreuil typified the true definition of “phenom.”  A Times-Picayune story about Montreuil said he was the subject of a “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” cartoon, which called attention to his hitting feats as a two-year-old toddler.  At age six, he was reportedly already playing on a 10-year-old team at New Orleans Recreational Department (NORD).

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Originally published: August 1, 2018. Last Updated: August 1, 2018.