On Friday night, the 2017 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros will resume in Texas. The best-of-seven tilt is now even at one game apiece, with the Astros set to host the next three games, effectively giving them home-field advantage.

If the Astros do indeed leverage their edge into a World Series title, they'll likely do so behind continued contributions from second baseman Jose Altuve, whose legacy improves with each passing day. To wit, one executive told Jon Heyman that Altuve is the best player in baseball. He isn't that, but he is a player with added historical significance and potential -- in part because of his unusual career arc, and in part because of what he might do before he retires.

Altuve's rise is well known by now. He was never a top prospect due in part to his size. Nonetheless, he reached the majors as a 21-year-old, then made his first all-star team as a 22-year-old. The Astros rewarded Altuve in July 2013, signing him to a long-term extension -- a deal that, frankly, looks like a steal now. Keep in mind, though, that he finished his second full season with a career 92 OPS+ and below-average defensive marks. To his credit, he's vindicated the Astros' faith in him by developing into one of the best and most consistent hitters in baseball, as well as a better second baseman than he was back then.  

Jose Altuve has a decent chance to reach 3,000 hits. USATSI

This season gave Altuve four consecutive with 200-plus hits. His slugging percentage has improved in each of those seasons. Altuve's OPS+ has went up in three of the last four seasons, too: from 135 to 125 to 155 to 164. His combination of contact and on-base ability, pop and stolen-base canny make him a broad, special force -- one who, in time, could well top a magical number in baseball: 3,000 hits.

Altuve has the third-best chance among active players of reaching 3,000 hits, according to the favorite toy at Baseball Gauge. That's not to suggest he's the third-closest to 3,000 hits -- he isn't, he's some 1,750 knocks away. Altuve's recent performance and relative youth (he'll celebrate his 28th birthday next May) are what's driving his 41.3 percent chance at the feat. Of course, 41.3 percent doesn't sound like a great shot -- it's less than a coin flip, after all -- but consider that just eight other hitters have better than 20 percent shots, and that Altuve is one of four players with a better than 25 percent chance at reaching 3,000 hits. Impressive, right?

Whether or not Altuve gets to that number, and whether or not he's in possession of a 2017 World Series ring when he does, almost doesn't matter. He's already shown that little bets can pay huge dividends, and that small bodies can accomplish big things. There'll be a lot of talk in the coming years about who is the next Jose Altuve; there won't be another Jose Altuve -- to pretend otherwise is to miss the point.