The Baseball Buzz: Quick Hits Around MLB

Aug 31, 2012 2 Comments

Against All Odds, Beltre Shines
I think we can all agree that baseball is a long season – almost too long for even my taste. August is historically the month when baseball fans start to feel a little worn out, and frankly, I hit that wall a few weeks ago.

Every once in awhile though, fans are rescued from the monotony of what seems like a never-ending season by an amazing story or feat on the field – whether that’s a perfect game (I’m looking at you Felix Hernandez) or a player whose career has turned around for the better. For me, that late-season rejuvenation came from Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre.

Adrian Beltre Texas Rangers

Adrian Beltre has helped lead the Texans to the 3rd best record in MLB. Photo By: Keith Allison

Admittedly, I had forgotten about Beltre. I remember him being such a force during his seven years with the Dodgers, but when he signed a 5-year, $64 million free agent contract with the Mariners in 2005, five largely disappointing, injured-plagued seasons followed that basically took him out of the conversation of upper-echelon players.

In 2010, Beltre signed a one-year deal with the Red Sox largely for his defense, but he surprised everyone by hitting .321 with 28 HRs and 102 RBIs. In a flash, Beltre was a highly coveted free agent once again, eventually agreeing to a 6-year, $96 million contract with the Rangers in 2011. Can you say comeback kid?

In Texas, he has not disappointed. Last year, Beltre hit .296 with 32 HRs and 105 RBIs and this season, he is hitting .311 with 25 HRs and 81 RBIs through 126 games. His resurgence over the last three seasons boils down to this: he is striking out less (only 62 this year compared with career-high 118 in 2006), his on-base percentage (.348) ranks as high as it’s ever been in his career and he’s scoring more runs as a consequence.

August has been an incredible month for Beltre as he’s hitting .311 with 7 HRs and 20 RBIs while collecting 33 hits. This includes a seven-day stretch where Beltre hit 3 homeruns in one game (8-22 vs. Baltimore) and hit for the cycle in another (8-24 vs. Minnesota). In five games during this stretch, Beltre hit .590 with 5HRs and 9 RBIs. It’s numbers you see only in video games. Seriously, he’s been that good.

Along the way, Beltre has provided a spark for the Rangers, leading them to the best record in the American League and third best record in MLB.

It’s hard for me to root for a guy that repeatedly killed the Giants for so many years wearing Dodger blue, but I can overlook that now. Unless of course the Giants and Rangers meet again in October.

Nonetheless, it’s a great story for a player that nearly faded to complete baseball obscurity, only to reemerge as an even more complete baseball player.

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2 Responses to “The Baseball Buzz: Quick Hits Around MLB”

  1. RedRaider says:

    Amen brother.

  2. Sportschump says:

    He’s a beast, just like the rest of that Rangers lineup.

    I’ll tell you what, man. Those guys have the Rays’ number.

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