Carlos Beltran is calling it a career
At the age of 40, nine-time All-Star Carlos Beltran has decided to hang up his cleats, just weeks after winning his first World Series Championship with the Houston Astros. After signing with the Astros for one-year and $16 million this offseason, Beltran struggled on the field, hitting .231 with 14 home runs and 51 RBIs. However, Beltran was revered in the clubhouse for his leadership, helping the Astros young core of Jose Altuve, George Springer, Alex Bregman, and Carlos Correa, Beltran’s fellow Puerto Rican native, develop. Throughout his 20 year career with the Royals, Astros, Mets, Giants, Cardinals, Yankees, and Rangers, Beltran’s achievements include the 1999 Rookie of the Year Award, three Gold Glove Awards, two Silver Sluggers, two silver medals in the World Baseball Classic, a spot in the 30-30 club, and the 2013 Roberto Clemente Award, which Beltran has listed as his greatest achievement. Which begs the question; given his body of work, will Carlos Beltran be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame? Here is his case.
- 8 WAR, eighth among center fielders. All eight center fielders above Beltran are in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Total is above Hall of Famers Duke Snider, Andre Dawson, Richie Ashburn, and Kirby Puckett.
- 8 WAR ranks 69th all-time for position players, 101st all-time for all players
- WAR 7 of 44.3; the average mark for a Hall of Fame center fielder is 44.6 WAR 7
- 1 JAWS, ninth among center fielders. All eight center fielders above Beltran are in the Baseball Hall of Fame
- Nine All-Star appearances, sixth among center fielders
- 2586 games, sixth among center fielders
- 1582 runs, 10th among center fielders, 53rd all-time
- 2725 hits, ninth among center fielders, 61st all-time
- 565 doubles, third among center fielders, 27th all-time
- 78 triples, 54th among center fielders
- 435 home runs, fifth among center fielders, 46th all-time
- 1587 RBI, fifth among center fielders, 41st all-time
- 312 stolen bases, 44th among center fielders
- 1084 BB, 11th among center fielders
- .486 SLG, 22nd among center fielders
- .837 OPS, 31st among center fielders
- 3860 total bases, 58th all-time
- 43% stolen base percentage, 3rd all-time
- Amongst switch hitters, ranks 2nd in doubles, 3rd in RBI, 4th in home runs and games, 6th in runs and hits, 8th in WAR and SLG, 11th in OPS, 12th in walks, 33rd in SB
- Career .986 fielding %
- 96 double plays turned as an OF, 96th all-time
- 108 assists as an outfielder, 28th all-tine. 28 double players turned as an outfielder, 25th all-time
- Career Postseason Stats: 65 G, 256 PA, 45 R, 66 H, 15 2B, 16 HR, 42 RBI, 11 SB, 37 BB, 33 K, .307/.412/.609. In four postseason series, has broken 1.000 OPS, and for his career, ahs a perfect 100% stolen base percentage
Looking at Jay Jaffe’s JAWS, which is the average of his career WAR total and that of his seven-year peak, Beltran is currently the best center fielder not enshrined in Cooperstown. The same could be said about his WAR total, which also ranks him just outside of the 100 best players of all-time, but well within the top 75 position players ever. In terms of counting stats, Beltran ranks among the top 60 all-time in runs, hits, doubles, home runs, and RBI. His stolen base percentage ranks third-all time, showing off his talent as a remarkably smart base runner; additionally, his 312 steals represent a solid quantity as well.
Among switch-hitters, Beltran is without question one of the best in baseball history, ranking the top twelve in almost every offensive counting stat outside of AVG and OBP. Defensively, Beltran was always strong, with a career .986 fielding percentage, and ranking inside the top 30 all-time in double players turned and assists by an outfielder. To me, what puts Beltran squarely into the Hall of Fame is his postseason production, hitting a career .307/.412/.609 with 16 HR. In four postseason series, Beltran hit over .400, and he carried the Astros through the 2004 postseason with a historic 8 HR and 14 RBI in 12 games, with 20 hits, 21 runs, 6 SB, hitting .434 overall. Given his strong all-around career, magnificent postseason career, accolades, and his reputation as one of the best people in baseball, there is no doubt in my mind that come 2023, Carlos Beltran will be enshrined in Cooperstown, with the only question remaining of what team’s hat he will wear on his plaque.