Beltre and Hamilton Need to Carry the Rangers for a 3rd Straight WS Appearance
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024 It is Adrian Beltre Awareness Week! What is that exactly? I have adopted an idea to carry out on twitter-in order to provide the unheralded players of the MLB, their just credit. So far there has been Juan Pierre, Mike Morse , Jose Altuve Awareness Weeks and now it is Adrian Beltre’s turn. I decided on the Rangers 3rd base slugger because I believe that he is on a path for Cooperstown. Rather than bore you with details I have already written about before on the Reports, you can click here for my previous article on Beltre hitting himself into Hall Of Fame Consideration: click here.
Okay back to the point. It was right after Adrian Beltre’s 3 HR game that I started sending out my link on the article and hailing Beltre as a man worthy for Cooperstown if he keeps it up. I had many of my followers indicate they had never thought about him like that. In bullet point style here. Right after that he had a 3 hit game, in which he was a Triple short of the cycle. The next day he hit for his second career cycle. It made me feel really good about my stance on the guy. 5 HRs, 2 Doubles, a Triple and 2 singles is a month for some guys and Beltre accomplished this feat in 14 AB over 3 games. That is 29 total bases folks, a slugging percentage of over 2 and a .714 Average. The Rangers offense has several players that seem to blow up like this. Nelson Cruz had 8 RBI not so long ago. Beltre had that 3 homer game in the ALCS last year. Then there was Josh Hamilton and his 4 HR game. Hamilton has also had 3 games this year where he had collected 5 RBI or more.
The Rangers are a power house offense. They have guys like Mitch Moreland and Mike Napoli hitting 8th routinely. They are going to win the AL West for a 3rd Straight year. With all of this said, something doesn’t resonate with me in them making their 3rd straight World Series this year. That feat has not been accomplished since the Yankees made 4 fall classics in a row from 1998-2001. The Rangers are vulnerable and have weaknesses in their pitching. They don’t have C.J Wilson this year and Rookie Yu Darvish is slowing down after a great first half. I think with Darvish, it is the innings that are catching up to him. In Japan, they usually have 6 man rotations. This is new territory for the talented chucker.
Adrian Beltre Highlights!
Josh Hamilton has struggled since putting up humungous numbers to start the year. He has recently admitted that he is trying to kick tobacco. I am all for doing this except for ‘whatever happened to doing something this drastic in the off-season?’ That is about as much as I will say as it will get me in trouble. Baseball is a game that plays on mental psyche and if Hamilton is thinking about all of his demons too much, added with the withdrawal one suffers from quitting ‘chew’ it has to be affecting his at bats. It is like the saying in ‘Bull Durham’ where Kevin Costner says: “If a player thinks he is on a streak because he is not having sex, than he shouldn’t mess with the streak by having sex.” It my personal opinion that Hamilton is thinking too much at the plate. Like a good soldier, he has rebounded of late in August, hitting .292 with 5 HRs and 23 RBI in just 24 games, yet his totals are still way down from the start of the year, where he looked like he was going to have an epic ALL-Time year.
Here are Josh Hamilton Averages/HR/RBI in the Months: APR- .395 9 HRs 24 RBI. MAY- .344 12 HRs 32 RBI. JUNE- .223 4 HRs 16 RBI. JULY- .177 4 HRs 11 RBI and AUG- .292 5 HRs and 23 RBI. This is a contract year for Josh. Not only that, he is clearly the best player available by far out of the Free Agency Class. I think he has straightened himself out enough to where he will not go back to his June and July slumps. Hamilton should end up with near 40-45 HRs and about 130 RBI. Hamilton is still .115 OPS behind his 2010 MVP year of (1.044) with an OPS of .929 in 2012. Hamilton is so talented that he is making his 40 HRs and 130 RBI look ordinarily routine. It will matter what kind of playoffs the man has to really setup his contract into the next stratosphere. Albert Pujols had an incredible post season last year that he parlayed into his 10 YR/254 Million Dollar Contract with the Angels. I am positive that Pujols received more money because his great playoffs in 2011 with the Cardinals.
Hamilton has been average in the 2 years of his playoff career. He has a .234 Avg and 6 HRs (4 of them in the 2010 ALCS vs the Yankees) and 22 RBI in 34 games. That is really good power numbers but average wise-he is 71 points below his Career Mark of .305. Hamilton needs to have a year where he carries the club for the entire playoff run and not hit for a .741 OPS. It is incumbent on the offense to set the pace for the Rangers. In most of the series they will be in, the opposition pitching will be better. Whether it is Detroit, Chicago, New York, LA Angels or Tampa Bay, the offense must hit their way to winning the series. If they are able to play the Oakland A’s or the Baltimore Orioles this won’t be the case, but that will be just one round. If they make the World Series, SF, LAD, WSH, ATL and STL would all have better starting pitching than them as well.
Beltre had a more productive 2011 Post Season than Hamilton. Beltre hit .264 with 5 HRs and 9 RBI in 72 AB. Beltre will need to hit like this again in the 2012 playoffs. Beltre particularly hits well at “The Ball Park in Arlington” where he has a career average of .325 and hits a HR about every 4 games. Beltre is still capable of hitting it out any park though. The think I like about Beltre is that he is aggressive. He has a great chance of a 2nd straight 30 HR/100 RBI year. He is also an extra base hits machine. He has 52 extra base hits this year and 820 for his total career. These totals ranks him 16th in Active Players and 95th on the ALL-Time List.
If Beltre plays out his contract till the end of 2016, he should have about 1050 Extra Base hits at that time (average of about 55 XBH year after this year). He will be 38 if he plays in the 2017 year. If he can get to 1120 XBH ALL-Time, he would pass George Brett as the leader ALL-Time for a third basemen. He is 296 XBH behind him right now. He is also only 169 doubles behind Hank Aaron for 10th on the ALL-Time doubles list. He could also finish in the top 4 for HRs hit by a 3rd baseman. Mike Schmidt is 1st ALL-Time with 548, Eddie Matthews is 2nd with 512 and Chipper Jones is 3rd with 467. Right now Beltre has 335 HRs. By the end of 2017, he would have around 475 HRS if he hits about 25 HRs a year. This should be possible as he shows no sign of slowing down. He should also end up with between 1550-1600 RBI by then. This would also place in him in the top 3 or 4 ALL-Time for third baseman. That is just my additions to my previous article (sorry couldn’t resist.)
The Rangers need their #3 and #4 guys in the lineup completely mashing to make another World Series and possibly win it this time. As for Josh Hamilton, the Rangers should really extend him right now or risk the new Boston Red Sox and their incredibly new ‘Payroll Flexible Landscape’ signing him. Offer him 5-6 years and 21-24 Million Dollars a year. If they don’t sign him, I think that he will certainly fall big-time onto Boston’s radar. Would it be inconceivable for them to offer Hamilton a 6 year-150 Million Dollar contract? The time to lock him up is right now when he has struggled a bit. Give him a great contract and keep the Franchise going on the right path. If you wait on him and he tears it up in the Post-Season, the price will escalate. The fans will even forgive you if he falters after a few years because you showed the faith to go for it. If you lose him, there is not a replacement to the position for him. Mike Napoli might also join Hamilton on the FA market. So 2012 may be the best chance for he Rangers to win it all! The talent will start to become too pricey after this year.
Don’t forget to follow updates on #AdrianBeltreAwarenessWeek. Follow @chuckbooth3024 Also, I do take suggestions for future weeks.
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Posted on August 28, 2012, in MLB Player Profiles and tagged adrian beltre, albert pujols, alcs, baltimore orioles, baseball hall of fame, boston red sox, bull durham, chicago, chipper jones, Chuck Booth. fastest 30 ballgames, detroit, george brett, jose altuve, josh hamilton, juan pierre, kevin costner, la angels, Mike Morse, mike napoli, mike schmidt, mitch moreland, nelson cruz, new york yankees, oakland a's, tampa bay rays, texas rangers, yu darvish. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Beltre and Hamilton Need to Carry the Rangers for a 3rd Straight WS Appearance.