Carlos Beltran Is The Best Active Hitter For A Postseason Career
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024
I love that baseball is a game of numbers. Every once in a while you stumble upon an awesome mind-blogging stat or ten that makes you sit and back and think, wow, that guy is awesome. I have a decent memory when it comes to the history of the game. So it came as no surprise to me that Carlos Beltran continues to be putting up video game statistics in the postseason. Having started this article, unfortunately the man has left the 3rd game of the National League Championship Series with a strained left knee. This is a shame. I hope that the slugger can come back in this series as he is listed on the injury report as Day-to-Day. Just how good is Carlos Beltran in the Playoffs? Check out these stat lines. In 111 career AB, the man has a .378 AVG with 14 HRs, 25 RBI and has a staggering OPS of 1.327 (His OBP is .489 and Slugging is .838.) These are unbelievable numbers and easily the highest OPS in the history of MLB for a playoff career.
When the St. Louis Cardinals lost Albert Pujols to free agency last year, it was a risky yet bold move to pick up the often injured slugger. The franchise signed Beltran to a 2 YR/26 Million Dollar contract (or just over 10% of the contract that Pujols signed for.) The team also re-signed Rafael Furcal and Lance Berkman to help carry the load offensively. Showing the wisdom as they have so often done, the Cardinals proved to work their payroll model and still improve their club in the process. While Furcal and Berkman would succumb to injuries during the year, Beltran has produced at a high rate for a nice portion of the year. At the 82 game mark, the outfielder had 20 HRs with 65 RBI and was a co-frontrunner (along with Joey Votto) for the National League MVP. While his numbers slumped a little in the second half, the club still knew they had a proven playoff performer. Beltran also played in 151 games this season, his highest amount since 2008 with the New York Mets.
Carlos brought his 32 HR and 97 RBI year into the postseason looking to do some more damage. All he has done so far in the 2012 MLB Plahyoffs is hit .375 with 3 HRs and 6 RBI, while clubbing 5 doubles and possess a .813 Slugging Percentage. After the Cardinals lost game #1 of the NLDS to the Nationals, it was Beltran who belted 2 HRs and drove in 3 RBI en route to his team tying up the series with Washington via a 12-4 final. The Cards eventually held off the Nationals and Beltran was one of the biggest reasons why. The guy has had hits in 8 out of the 9 games played. If that weren’t enough, he has also walked 6 times and sports an OBP of .473. With astronomical numbers like this, he has actually seen his overall career playoff numbers drop a small fraction. Now that is just incredible to fathom!
It all started in June 2004, when Carlos Beltran was picked up by the Houston Astros from the Kansas City Royals near the Trade Deadline. He was coming off of 3 great seasons where he had 20 HRs, 100 RBI and 30+ steals but the Royals simply were not going to be able to afford him as a Free Agent going forward. The Astros were rewarded in his 90 regular season games with a power stroke that had him smashing a homer about every 4 games (23 HRs in 90 Games.) The Astros made the playoffs and behind Beltran’s 2 HR- 5 RBI performance in Game #5, they were able to beat the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS before bowing out to the St. Louis Cardinals in a heated 7 game series in the NLCS. In the 1st four games of that series, Beltran hit a HR in each of the games to extend his consecutive homers game streak to 5 which is a Major League Record. While he was shutout in the final 3 games, he had displayed his playoff metal. The Cardinals had just been smart enough to pitch around the deadly 5-tool hitter. In the 12 games that year, Beltran hit a Major League Tying 8 HRs in one playoff year and also drove in 14 RBI. He also stole 6 bases in those 12 games. He had hit a ‘proverbial’ home run when it came to timing. Beltran was a Free Agent. He elected to sign a 7 Yr/119 Million Dollar Contract with the New York Mets.
In the 2006 NLCS 7 game loss to the St. Louis Cardinals (once again,) Beltran hit .296 with 3 HRs and 4 RBI in only 27 AB. After having struggled his 1st year with the Mets only hitting 16 HRs and driving in 78 RBI in 2005, Beltran hit 101 HRs and drove in 340 RBI from 2006-2008 for the NL New York franchise. His best year came in 2006, where he clubbed 41 HRs. From 2009-2011, the man struggled through an affliction of injuries that caused him to miss 199 games during that period. The Mets finally traded Beltran to the Giants near the 2011 Trade Deadline. Had the team made the playoffs, who knows what he would accomplished even last year. Weighing all of his options for 2012, Beltran decided to sign with the reigning World Series Champions and it has been a great match.
I root for guys that come up in the clutch as Beltran has always done. I hope he is able to play in the Fall Classic this year. This 7 time ALL-Star, holds career numbers of .280 AVG: 334 HR, 1243 RBI and 306 SB. His playoff numbers (as aforementioned in this article) are even loftier. All that Carlos Beltran needs to do is to win a World Series to further cement his profile as one of the best playoff performers of all time. For right now, we will just call him the ‘BEST ACTIVE’ hitter in the postseason!
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Posted on October 17, 2012, in MLB Player Profiles, Playoffs, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 2004 NLCS, 2006 NLCS, 2012 nlcs, albert pujols, Atlanta Braves, carlos beltran, Chuck Booth. fastest 30 ballgames, houston astros, jermaine dye, joey votto, johnny damon, kansas city royals, lance berkman, national league, new york mets, rafael furcal, san francisco giants, st louis cardinals, twitter @chuckbooth3024, washington nationals. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.