With all the news surrounding Jose Reyes and his incredible season that he is having, we often forget the main-man driving him in, Carlos Beltran. Beltran, after two injury-riddled seasons, was expected to have an above average season at best in 2011. But the 34-year old now right fielder has not only exceeded what anyone expected, but has been nearly the caliber of player as he was in his prime.
Many predicted Beltran for 15-20 home runs and 70-80 RBIs, that he would be a fraction of what he once was in his prime years. But he has so far not only met those expectations but is on pace to shatter them. If Beltran maintains the level of play he is going at, he could be a 20-25 home runs, 110 RBIs guy once again, just as good as he had ever been.
Sure, the speed is not nearly what it once was neither in the field nor on the basepaths, but he still has made a flawless transition to rightfield and has begun to slowly but surely pick up the speed and become more aggressive as a baserunner. Yes he is not a 40 home run guy in 2011, but he still is on pace for around 20-25 homers while playing in one of the largest ballparks in the game.
In the absence of Ike Davis and David Wright, the Mets could have easily been done for if Beltran had performed at the level that everyone was expecting to see from him this season. But instead, the Mets are an above .500 team, and that can be mostly attributed to excellent starting pitching and timely hits. Many of these clutch knocks have come from none other than Reyes, but Beltran has been in the middle of quite a few rallies for the Amazin’s.
Finally, Beltran has been raking in the doubles. At 21 so far, tied for second in the National League, he is on pace for over 40, a feat he has only achieved twice in his career. If the switch-hitting slugger keeps this up, come this winter, super-agent Scott Boras will be jacking up the price, as always, on Beltran and will likely cost a pretty penny to acquire, even at 34.
After multiple knee issues that in many other cases can compromise a player’s career, this golden-oldie has seemingly defied the odds. He looks like the Beltran that earned him his $119 million. He and Reyes have strapped this team on their backs and kept the Mets in contention without Ike or Wright.
With all signs pointing to 2011 marking Beltran’s final year in Flushing, whether he and the Mets part way by August 1st or the following winter, only one thing is for sure… Beltran is back!