The New York Mets played an exhibition game against Venezuela’s national baseball team on Thursday.
It’s part of the Mets’ spring training calendar, although the stats won’t officially count.
Venezuela, on the other hand, is getting ready for its participation in the World Baseball Classic.
Houston Astros star Jose Altuve certainly looks like he is ready for the tournament to start.
Facing Mets right-handed pitcher Jose Butto, the second baseman homered in consecutive at-bats.
MVP season for Jose Altuve coming up.
He's seen two pitches today and they both have been homers pic.twitter.com/EP8prk8xuO
— Michael Schwab (@michaelschwab13) March 9, 2023
The most impressive part is that he saw just two pitches and homered two times, at least to that point.
Both were screaming drives to left field, showing that he is being aggressive and attacking pitches early in the count.
If that’s the version of Altuve that Venezuela is going to enjoy in the Classic, fans won’t complain at all.
Altuve was marvelous last season with the Astros, hitting .300/.387/.533 with 28 home runs and 18 stolen bases.
He went ice-cold to finish the regular season and the beginning of the playoffs, but he found his stroke just in time for the World Series.
He will be Venezuela’s second baseman and likely leadoff hitter, so they will need him to be at the top of his game.
If these two at-bats are any proof, manager Omar Lopez has nothing to worry about.
Venezuela is in a really tough pool to open the WBC, with the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, and Israel.
Their opening game against the Dominicans will definitely be one of the most entertaining of the first round.NEXT: Alex Bregman Explains His New Throwing Method