Carlos Beltrán

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2006 Topps Co-Signers #60 Carlos Beltran

Carlos Ivan Beltran

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Biographical Information[edit]

Carlos Beltran-5953.jpg

Carlos Beltran made nine All-Star teams in a twenty-year major league career.

Despite being considered a very good power hitter at the major league level with 12 20-homer seasons, Beltran struggled with power in the minor leagues. During the 1995 and 1996 seasons spent playing for both the GCL Royals and Lansing Lugnuts, Beltran went 222 at-bats without a home run. In fact, at the time of his big league call-up in 1998, Beltran had accumulated only 37 home runs in 1,230 minor league at-bats.

He was married three days before being named 1999 AL Rookie of the Year. In 2003, he became the first Kansas City Royals player to hit 20 home runs and steal 40 bases in a season.

In 2004, Beltran was the first player in major league history to have 50 RBI in each league during a season; Manny Ramirez later followed suit. He finished the season with a combined 38 homers and 104 RBI, then was red-hot in the postseason, hitting 4 home runs in the NLDS, as the Houston Astros defeated the Atlanta Braves, then slugging another 4 in a losing effort in the NLCS.

Carlos Beltran headshot-4223.jpg

For a time, Beltran had the highest stolen base percentage among players with at least 100 stolen base attempts, although he has since fallen to second behind Chase Utley, stealing at a clip of 87.7% over his career.

Carlos was the last New York Mets player to hit a home run at Shea Stadium. Mid-way through the last season of a seven-year contract with the Mets, he was traded to the San Francisco Giants on July 27, 2011 in return for pitching prospect Zack Wheeler. Overall, he played 839 games in New York, hitting 149 homers; he missed large chunks of both the 2009 and 2010 seasons because of injuries, but came back to make his 6th All-Star team in 2011, before the trade. Unfortunately, just at the time the Giants most needed his help with the bat, Beltran strained a hamstring on August 7th, then missed a number of games before the team relented and placed him on the disabled list. He came back on August 24th and hit his first homer for his new team, off Tim Stauffer of the San Diego Padres in a 2-1 win that day. He finished the year hitting a combined .300, with 39 doubles and 22 homers in 142 games, convincingly showing that his health issues were behind him.

Beltran became a free agent again after the 2011 season and on December 22nd agreed to a two-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals worth $26 million. He had broken relations with his long-time agent, Scott Boras, a couple of months earlier, and that led to Boras filing a grievance to claim 5% of Beltran's new salary. Arbitrator Shyam Das would rule in favor of Beltran two years later, explaining that a player should not face penalties for deciding to change his representation. He played right field for the Cardinals in 2012, with RF Lance Berkman moving to 1B to replace the departed Albert Pujols. He made his debut on Opening Day at the Miami Marlins' new ballpark on April 4th. He recorded the first hit and scored the first run in the history of Marlins Park, singling in the 1st inning and coming around to score on David Freese's single to put the Cardinals on their way to a 4-1 win. On June 29th, he picked up the 2000th hit of his career. He went on to have another solid season, hitting .269 in 151 games, with 32 doubles and 97 RBI. He also scored 83 runs and made the All-Star team for the 7th time. He then went 1 for 4 and scored a run when the Cardinals defeated the Atlanta Braves in the Wild Card Game, and went 8 for 18 with 3 doubles and a pair of homers to lead his team to a win over the Washington Nationals in the NLDS. He continued on the same run in the NLCS, going 3 for 7 with 2 doubles and a homer in the first two games against the San Francisco Giants, but had to be removed from the game after the 1st inning of Game 3 on October 17th, victim of a knee injury when he grounded into a double play in his first at-bat.

Beltran played another 145 games with the Cards in 2013, hitting 30 doubles and 24 homers, scoring 79 runs and driving in 84, to go along with a .296 batting average. He tied the great Babe Ruth on the all-time postseason homers list when he hit a three-run shot off A.J. Burnett in Game 1 of the NLDS on October 3rd. It was a huge blast, traveling 443 feet into the second deck at Busch Stadium, and sent the Cardinals on their way to a 9-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ruth, of course, had hit all of his postseason homers in the World Series; Beltran was still a long way behind the 29 postseason homers hit by Manny Ramirez, however. He passed Ruth in Game 3 of the Series on October 6th, hitting his 16th off Mark Melancon in the 8th inning to tie the game at 3-3 at that point (Melancon had allowed just one regular-season dinger), although the Pirates went on to win, 5-3. Beltran finally made his World Series debut in his 16th season when he started in right field in Game 1 against the Boston Red Sox. He made a great catch in the 2nd inning, by reaching over the right field fence at Fenway Park to deprive David Ortiz of a grand slam, but he injured his ribs on the play and had to leave the game shortly afterwards. He was back in the line-up for Game 2 however, and before Game 3 was given the Roberto Clemente Award, in recognition of his humanitarian work away from the ballpark. He ended up going 5 for 17 with 3 RBIs as the Cardinals were defeated in six games by the Red Sox. A free agent after the season, he signed with the New York Yankees on December 6th on a three-year deal worth $45 million, stepping into the breach opened when Curtis Granderson decided to move to the Mets that same day.

Beltran started the 2014 season relatively slowly for the Yankees, as he was hitting only .234 in mid-May. One of the reasons was that he was having problems with bone spurs in his right elbow. He took a cortisone shot to relieve the pain, but there was a possibility that season-ending surgery would be required. He played on in spite of not being one hundred percent but lost about a third of the season to various injuries. He was hitting .236 with 15 homers and 49 RBI in 108 games when personal tragedy struck as well. He took a leave of absence from the team on September 17th after his wife, who was expecting the couple's first boy, had a late miscarriage. When he returned after a few days, it was a bone spur in his right elbow that made him unable to provide much offensive production. He finished the season with a .233 average in 109 games, with 15 homers and 49 RBIs. In 2015, he played 133 games, bouncing back to .276 with 34 doubles and 19 homers, driving in 67 runs. He was the team's main right fielder as the Yankees played the Wild Card Game and he went 1 for 4 in the game as New York was shut out by the Houston Astros.

On May 15, 2016, he hit the 400th homer of his career against Zach Duke of the Chicago White Sox, becoming the fourth switch-hitter in history to reach the mark, after Mickey Mantle, Eddie Murray and Chipper Jones. He was also the third Puerto Rican to reach the number (after Carlos Delgado and Juan Gonzalez). He was probably the team's best hitter in the first half and was rewarded with a return to the All-Star Game, his first appearance since 2013. On August 1st, he was hitting .304 with 22 homers and 64 RBIs when he was traded to the Texas Rangers in return for three prospects: Dillon Tate, Nick Green and Erik Swanson. He played 52 games for Texas, hitting .280 with 7 homers and 29 RBIs while playing primarily at DH. In total, that gave him a .295 average, 29 homers and 93 RBIs. He then went 2 for 11 as the Rangers were swept by the Toronto Blue Jays in the Division Series. He became a free agent again after the season and on December 3rd signed a one-year, $16 million contract to return to Houston.

In his 20th season, he was Houston's principal designated hitter in 2017, hitting .231 in 129 games, with 29 doubles, 14 homers and 51 RBIs. The Astros won over 100 games, and more than his contribution with the bat, it was his veteran presence on an otherwise very young team that was appreciated: when the Astros made it through the Division Series and League Championship Series to reach the 2017 World Series, he was one of only two players on the team to have ever made it that far, the other being P Justin Verlander. Evan Gattis took over at DH for the three games played in Houston, relegating Carlos to a pinch-hitting role, during which he went 0 for 3. Still, the win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games was very sweet, and a perfect cap on an outstanding career: a couple of weeks after the end of the Series, he announced his retirement, having played over 2,500 games.

Shortly after Beltran announced his retirement, his name emerged as a dark horse candidate to manage the Yankees following the firing of Joe Girardi. His ability to connect with young players and his intimate knowledge of the New York environment were seen as positives, possibly outweighing his complete lack of managerial or coaching experience. The job went to another outsider candidate, broadcaster Aaron Boone and Beltran was offered a front office job with the team, which he turned down. He explained that he wanted a year's separation from baseball before moving to the next phase of his career. True to his word, one year later, he joined the Yankees' front office as a special adviser to the General Manager.

His cousin Reymond Fuentes made the majors in 2013.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 1999 AL Rookie of the Year Award
  • 1999 Topps All-Star Rookie Team
  • 9-time All-Star (2004-2007, 2009, 2011-2013 & 2016)
  • 3-time NL Gold Glove Winner (2006-2008)
  • 2-time NL Silver Slugger Award Winner (2006 & 2007)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 12 (1999, 2001-2004, 2006-2008, 2011-2013 & 2016)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 4 (2004, 2006, 2007 & 2012)
  • 40-Home Run Seasons: 1 (2006)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 8 (1999, 2001-2004 & 2006-2008)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 7 (1999, 2001-2004, 2006 & 2008)
  • Won one World Series with the Houston Astros in 2017

AL Rookie of the Year
1998 1999 2000
Ben Grieve Carlos Beltran Kazuhiro Sasaki

Records Held[edit]

  • Stolen base percentage, career, 88.3

Further Reading[edit]

  • Jack Baer: "Beltran could become managerial trailblazer: If hired by Yanks, retired slugger would eclipse likes of Bowa, Piniella as fastest to make transition", mlb.con, November 28, 2017. [1]
  • Ted Berg: "After 19 seasons in the Majors, future Hall of Famer Carlos Beltran finally gets his World Series ring", "For the Win!", USA Today Sports, November 2, 2017. [2]
  • Pete Caldera: "Beltran turned down job offer from Yankees ... at least for now", USA Today Sports, February 6, 2018. [3]
  • Mark Feinsand: "Beltran gets his ring; not sure what's next: 10-time All-Star will bask in glow of championship before determining future",, November 2, 2017. [4]
  • Mark Feinsand: "Beltran retires a champ after 20-year career: 9-time All-Star wants to spend more time with family, manage some day",, November 13, 2017. [5]
  • Alyson Footer: "Bregman learns from postseason vet Beltran: 2004 playoff standout advises young third baseman to stick with what's worked",, October 27, 2017. [6]
  • Bryan Hoch: "Beltran ready to manage Yanks? He's in mix: Recently retired slugger regarded as influential presence",, November 29, 2017. [7]
  • Gabe Lacques: "Carlos Beltran ends 20-year career, announces MLB retirement", USA Today Sports, November 13, 2017. [8]
  • Brian McTaggart: "Astros finalize 1-year deal with Beltran: Slugger, who made name for himself in Houston, agrees to $16 million",, December 5, 2016. [9]
  • Brian McTaggart: "For '04 Astros, Beltran was lightning in a bottle: Trade brought outfielder to Houston to set up unforgettable postseason performance",, December 27, 2016. [10]
  • Jorge L. Ortiz: "No experience necessary? Carlos Beltran a true wild card as Yankees pick a manager", USA Today Sports, November 28, 2017. [11]

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