Adrian Beltre is now 38 years old. He has played for four different teams and is now in his 21st season. Beltre is the 31st member of the 3,000 hit club and is an important part of the Texas Rangers organization.
It is very rare that a player continues to have great success without regressing. In 2016, Beltre had the third best RBI and home run production of his career. Despite getting older, Beltre is producing consistently and might even be improving in his most recent seasons.
Beltre is making his case as one of the greatest third basemen of all time. Here is a look at his extremely impressive, and probable Hall of Fame resume.
Adrian Beltre is an extremely impressive hitter for a guy who swings as hard as he does. His career batting average is .287 over 10,635 at-bats. Beltre has played in over half the regular season games in every season except his rookie year.
He has 1,642 career RBIs to go with 462 home runs. Beltre averages over a hit per game that he has played in, showing just how good of a hitter he is. He is not just streaky, he is also extremely consistent and has been over his entire career.
One of the best statistics is the fact that Beltre had a career WAR of 23.4 after his age-25 season. Currently, he is quickly approaching 100 WAR for his career. Beltre is not just a tremendous hitter, he is one of the best third basemen in baseball.
Beltre is a four-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger winner and five-time Gold Glove winner. He has hit for the cycle on three separate occasions, which is an MLB record.
Beltre has quietly put together a tremendous first-ballot Hall of Fame resume. He has done so in the last few seasons and is just adding to an already stellar career.
How did he get here
It is no surprise that Beltre is one of the more underrated stars. He does not get talked about often, and when he does, it is more for his swings that take him to one knee or his antics when hanging around Elvis Andrus.
The truth is that Beltre has cemented his Hall of Fame campaign with the Texas Rangers. With the Texas Rangers, he has become both a complete fielder and complete hitter.
In seven seasons with the Rangers, he has five seasons where he has hit above .300. He did that just two other times in his previous 12 seasons with the Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Dodgers. Before the Rangers, Beltre was a guy who would be more than just a little up and down. He was a guy who would mix a stellar season into a sea of underperforming ones filled with strikeouts.
He found his home with the Rangers and in turn, found consistency. He has proven that he can play tremendous defense, hit for power and average and has been more than consistent overall in his career.
When it is over
Beltre won’t be playing much longer. If he stays healthy, he will eclipse 3,200 hits, 480 home runs and 1,700 RBIs at the end of this season. Who knows just how long he plays, but if he continues to produce like he has been, he might be the Tom Brady of Major League Baseball and play at a high level longer than we expect.
Beltre is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He is one of the best defensive third basemen to ever play the position, as well as a tremendous all-around hitter. He deserves to find his way into Cooperstown and it is not much of a debate. His WAR says that there is no way he could not get into the Hall of Fame, and at this point, there is no reason for Beltre not to.
Featured image from NBC Philadelphia.
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