Taking Adrian Beltre for Granted
Year in and year out, Adrian Beltre does his thing. He hits for average; he hits for power; he fields brilliantly; and he wills his team to success more often than not.
Beltre is among the quieter superstars in the game, never really getting the attention befitting someone that has accomplished as much as he has in his career. But when you look at the all-time leaderboards, you’ll find that he’s crept up on some all-time greats.
Unfortunately, we seem to be taking what he’s doing for granted, relative to other star players. Let’s have a look at Belte’s numbers and see if we can’t open some eyes about what kind of career he’s enjoying.
He currently ranks 33rd all-time in games played, and assuming he’s in the lineup Friday night when Texas begins a series in Tampa Bay, he’ll tie Paul Molitor for 32nd place. Next week, Beltre should pass Darrell Evans and then set his sights on 2,700 games — a mark reached by just 30 men in the history of the game.
With 10,154 career at-bats, Beltre is already 24th all-time. He’s currently 41 behind Tris Speaker.
Beltre’s next run will be No. 1,400 of his career, and the following one will tie him with Todd Helton for 93rd all-time.
Beltre is currently 39th on the all-time hit list, within 107 of the covered 3,000 hit club, of which there are 30 members. He’s 34 hits behind Al Simmons and just 37 back of Rogers Hornsby and Jake Beckley.
Beltre has 581 doubles, good for 21st all-time. Just two more two-baggers and he’ll tie Robin Yount. Only 15 players have ever recorded 600 career doubles — a mark Beltre should reach early next season.
He is currently 47th on the all-time home run list, just two back of tying Andruw Jones and Juan Gonzalez. With less than 70 to go, 500 dingers is a very legitimate goal given how Beltre has not really slowed down that much in recent years (in fact, he’s enjoying a better season this year than he did in 2015).
He’s amassed 1,544 RBI, good for 45th all-time and just six back of matching Fred McGriff. That should happen very soon considering Beltre has already driven in 12 runs in 16 games this month. As we suggested, he’s not really slowing down.
This 37-year-old Dominican signed a two-year extension earlier this season that will keep him in Texas through the 2018 season. So barring a major injury, Beltre has plenty of more leaderboard climbing to do over the next two years and change.
Hell, he’s been around so long, that Beltre is even adept at avoiding a Gatorade bath (see video below).
We are witnessing the career of a transcendental player here, folks. It’s time to take a step back and really appreciate what Beltre has managed to do — and what he continues to do — over the past 19 years.
Prince Fielder and (likely) Alex Rodriguez are now done playing. David Ortiz, Mark Teixeira and others will soon be joining them.
But Beltre just keeps going and going. There’s nothing flashy about him, but it’s hard not to get a bit star-struck when you see the names he’s routinely passing on the all-time lists.
Enjoy it while you can!
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below what your favourite Beltre memory is.
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