He is a fairly quiet player off the field and honestly, doesn’t celebrate in a Jose Reyes way, yet he is always mentioned in articles and typically seen in the box score (although many defensive plays can’t be shown there).
When he first came to the Mets after the 2004 season, he was given a large deal, and already folks were talking because of the rumors he would have gone to the Yankees for a discount, not a good start.Â It didn’t help that he then proceeded to have a mediocre first year, in addition to a bad outfield collision that cost him a few games.
Since that time though, he has been pretty much the player we asked for as long as you weren’t delusional and thinking he would put up a season’s worth of numbers like his 2004 Houston Astros postseason run.Â For those counting that would have put him at somewhere around a .433 batting average with 189 runs batted in and 108 home runs, pretty much video game numbers(obviously I was being sarcastic here, but you should get the point).
In the years following 2005, he has put up extremely solid offensive numbers in addition to winning three straight Gold Glove awards, being voted to three All-Star games and collecting two Silver Sluggers.Â Most would argue he is the best overall Centerfielder in the game, not too shabby right?
Well, even though his stats look great on paper and his play is amazing most of the time on the field, i’ve read way too many articles over the years that are pretty controversial.
The first are the ones are of late,Â speaking about about trading Carlos, and some even speculating that he came back this year only so he could audition for a trade.
If the Mets were to trade him, he has a no trade clause, but assuming you get past that, what is the point?Â The Mets would LIKELY have to take on salary, or take a chance of getting crap in return, or just strength in numbers, no optionsÂ seems great for them.Â Yes, I know its possible they get a blue chip prospect, but honestly not likely especially given he JUST came off an injury that cost him 70 games.Â Assuming they take on salary, they may get a decent prospect, possibly even a current major leaguer who is young and yet to prove himself, again, how does this help?Â Beltran is not so easy to replace, he has amazing defense, can hit for power, has speed, and seems to be a liked person in the clubhouse.Â The prospect could very likely not develop into anything, and then were left with possibly paying parts of his salary and a hole in the lineup or in the outfield. You can do your own math if we traded his full salary and ended up with low level or mid level prospects, it could get ugly quick.Â Even if the Wilpons are in trouble, I don’t think this makes any sense either, it will just drive fans away, so the math isn’t there.Â The final reason this just makes no sense is that what do you do if the prospect(s) you receive need time to develop or just plain, are different position prospects and not a blue chipper you are willing to wait on?Â Raise your hand if you are OK with Angel Pagan manning Center Field daily next year since I don’t think anyone is convinced that Fernando Martinez is ready yet.Â Sure, I like Angel Pagan to be on the team and play as a left fielder from time to time and spell Beltran, but as a starter in place of Beltran? Thats not gonna work.Â Pagan has been a great story in an otherwise dismal season, but his mental errors on the basepath and in the outfield need to be buried as a spot player or with many other stars in front of him.
Simply put, I feel unless Mr. Beltran has very diminished stats over the next year here, he should be the starting Centerfielder, and I wouldn’t mind signing him past that if he would want to.Â Who would mind Carlos manning left field if FMart does get his act together for a few more years after 2011?Â With the pop that he has and barring injury, his speed should still be decent as well.
Next issue I can’t stand, “Carlos is soft”…. ? He played 140 games in 2006 which is the lowest number of his career until now, and he came back early from his injury!Â I don’t know why people get so annoyed with him saying he is only 88% or something, I find it humorous and I’d rather allow the man to get a day here or there to rest, rather than find himself on the DL for an extended period of time (looking at you Mets medical staff).Â His small injuries typically have not hurt his production, and if they do, its minor and the defense is still top notch, so why even mention it?Â He pulls himself out when he has to, he speaks his mind and lets the media and fans know how he is feeling and I for one respect that about him and it makes me pull for him more when he comes to the plate.Â I honestly hated the idea of him coming off the DL this year, but so far Jerry seems to be babying him, which I do appreciate.Â I look at this as hopefully seeing flashes of the Beltran we all (or most) know and love and give us some hope to next year and instill confidence in him that he can report to Spring Training in 2010 and be at 96.5% for another run.
The final issue I need to bring up, and I apologize for putting Mets fans through this, but its the 2006 NLCS. He did strike out looking to end the Mets hopes, and believe me, that is a nightmare for me too, but you can’t put that entire season, or that lost series on him, others caused us hell(Heilman and others).Â Beltran hit .296 in that series and hit three home runs and played his typical top notch defense.Â Would I have loved for him to swing and change history? Of course, but why keep mentioning it? It was a nasty curve and it just happened, leave the man be!
I would love to hear how everyone else feels about Carlos Beltran, and I thank you for reading my opinion, even though I am sure many will disagree, but such is baseball!Â I will leave you with the fact that simply having the name Beltran in the order will always give me confidence and I know some don’t count him in it, but I do feel he is a part of the core, and I want the core to stay right here, in the big apple!