From BR Bullpen
Adrián Beltre Perez
- Bats Right; Throws Right
- Height 5'11"; Weight 170 lb.
 Biographical Information
Adrian Beltre led the major leagues with 48 home runs in 2004, tying the season record for a third baseman previously held by Mike Schmidt (it was beaten by Alex Rodriguez in 2007). After the season, he was signed by the Seattle Mariners as a free agent on December 17, 2004.
Beltre was underage when signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1994, having not yet turned 16. When this was discovered a few years later, the Dodgers were fined a large amount, but were allowed to keep Beltre (in other cases, the player had been made a free agent). By then, Beltre was one of the top young prospects in the game, and he would have attracted huge offers as a free agent; it was seen as unfair to have him receive a financial windfall from a situation he was complicit in creating. He reached the major leagues quickly, in June of 1998, less than two months after turning 19; when he hit his first major league homer on September 25 that year, he was 19 years and 171 days old. No player younger than Beltre has homered in the majors since that time, with Bryce Harper coming closest in 2012. After hitting .290 with 20 homers as a 21-year-old in 2000, he appeared to have unlimited potential. However, he had to undergo an emergency appendectomy in the spring of 2001; the operation was botched, and while he got back to the playing field relatively fast - he played 126 games that season - it took him a while to get back to full strength. Indeed, he was considered a bit of a bust when he suddenly had his break-through season in 2004, which he capped by being named the National League's Player of the Month in September.
On September 1, 2008 he, along with Stephen Drew of the Arizona Diamondbacks, hit for the cycle, the first time since 1920 and only the second time in major league history that two players hit for the cycle on the same day. The duo that accomplished this the previous time was Bobby Veach and George Burns. Overall, his stay with the Mariners was a disappointment. Playing in Safeco Field depressed his offensive numbers, and he never hit more than 26 homers for the Mariners, who were never in serious contention during his time there. In 2009, his power appeared to fade completely, as he hit only 8 home runs in 111 games. A free agent after the season, he could not find a team willing to offer him a long-term deal, and had to settle on a one-year contract with the Boston Red Sox. He was probably the Sox's best player in 2010, hitting .321 with 28 homers and 102 RBI; he was named to the All-Star team for the first time.
Now able to cash in, Beltre went to the Texas Rangers, in 2011, signing another large contract. Even though he was joining the defending American League pennant-winners, and playing alongside the reigning MVP in Josh Hamilton, he was installed in the clean-up spot. He took well to the hitter-friendly confines of the Ballpark in Arlington, installing himself among the league's RBI leaders over the first half and reaching the 20-home run mark before the end of July while returning to the All-Star Game. However, he suffered a pulled hamstring on July 22nd and had to be placed on the disabled list. He came back though and quietly had an outstanding final month, earning American League Player of the Month honors for September. He hit 12 homers and had 29 RBI while hitting .374 and slugging .778 as the Rangers pulled away from the Los Angeles Angels to finish first in the AL West. He had a 19-game hitting streak in late August and early September. He finished the year batting .296 with 33 doubles, 32 homers and 105 RBIs in 124 games. He hit three homers in Game 4 of the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays and was the first player with a three-homer game in the postseason since Adam Kennedy did it for the Anaheim Angels in 2002.
Beltre had another strong season in 2012, reaching 20 homers for the 10th time with a three-homer game against the Baltimore Orioles on August 22nd. He hit a solo shot off Tommy Hunter in the 1st, repeated off Hunter with a two-run shot in the 4th, and added another two-run shot off Kevin Gregg later in the same inning as the Rangers won the game, 12-3. Two days later, he hit for the cycle for the second time of his career as the Rangers beat the Minnesota Twins, 8-0. He needed to hit his first triple in two years off Samuel Deduno in the 1st inning in order to accomplish the feat. He was the second player in major league history to have both a cycle and three-homer game in the same week, after Joe DiMaggio. He was named the American League Player of the Week, then in his next game, went 3 for 3 with a homer and 4 RBIs to lead the Rangers to a 6-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on August 27th. Also that year, he hit one spot behind Josh Hamilton the day Hamilton hit four homers in a game, 10 years after hitting one spot ahead of Shawn Green when Green performed that feat. He finished the season by being named the American League's Player of the Month for September, when he hit .337 with 11 homers, 19 RBI and as many runs scored and finished the year with a batting line of .321/.359/.561 in 156 games, with 36 homers and 102 RBI. However, he went 0 for 4 in the Wild Card Game against the Baltimore Orioles as the Rangers' season ended with a whimper.
Beltre did not make the All-Star team in 2013, but it was more a function of increased competition among his peers at the hot corner than of any drop in production on his part. He had a great month of July, picking up the AL Player of the Month Award when he hit .369 with 9 homers and 19 RBI in 26 games, the fourth time he had picked up that honor in his career. He finished the year with a batting line of .315/.371/.509 and an OPS+ of 137. His 199 hits led the AL and he had 32 doubles and 30 homers. While he had been largely under the radar for his first decade in the big leagues, reporters in the off-season were starting to point out that Beltre was putting together a Hall of Fame career, with 500 homers and 3,000 hits both well within reach given he was only 35. Many were also placing him among their preseason favorites for the MVP Award in 2014, reasoning that the presence of newly-acquired Shin-Soo Choo at the top of the line-up would give him an opportunity to drive in many more runs. However, those projections faced a hiccup when he went on the disabled list on April 9th, victim of a strained quadriceps; he was hitting .286 with 0 homers and only 4 RBIs after 8 games.
 Notable Achievements
- 1997 MVP Florida State League Vero Beach Dodgers
- 3-time AL All-Star (2010-2012)
- 4-time AL Gold Glove Winner (2007, 2008, 2011 & 2012)
- 3-time Silver Slugger Award Winner (2004/NL, 2010/AL & 2011/AL)
- AL Doubles Leader (2010)
- NL Home Runs Leader (2004)
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 11 (2000, 2002-2004, 2006-2008 & 2010-2013)
- 30-Home Run Seasons: 4 (2004 & 2011-2013)
- 40-Home Run Seasons: 1 (2004)
- 100 RBI Seasons: 4 (2004 & 2010-2012)
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (2004)
- 200 Hits Seasons: 1 (2004)