In less than seven full seasons, Carlos Beltran has worked his way up the Mets career leaderboard in virtually every category. What makes Beltran’s achievements more impressive is that he’s 17th on the franchise’s all-time games played list, but ranks in the top ten in the majority of the cumulative stats. (doubles, home runs, RBI, runs scored, etc.)
To celebrate Carlos Beltran Appreciation Week on MMO, I have gone through the record books (also known as baseball-reference.com and Ultimate Mets Database) to compile a list of Beltran’s single-season and career achievements with the Mets. His high rankings in some categories should be obvious to the casual Mets fan, but I’m sure I’ll be able to surprise even the most die-hard Mets fans with a Carlos Beltran stat or three that’ll cause them to say “wow, I didn’t know Carlos was so good in THAT category!”
Let’s start by discussing Carlos Beltran’s single-season achievements and where they rank on the Mets’ all-time leaderboard:
Tell me, Mets fans. Who do you think holds the team’s single-season record for runs scored? If you said Jose Reyes, you get a big red “X”. The correct answer is Carlos Beltran. In 2006, he set a new club mark by crossing the plate 127 times, breaking Edgardo Alfonzo’s record of 123 runs scored. Carlos also scored 116 runs in 2008, which is the sixth-highest total in team history. Beltran is one of only six Mets to have multiple seasons with 100 or more runs scored. The others are Darryl Strawberry, Howard Johnson, Edgardo Alfonzo, David Wright and Jose Reyes.
The Mets have had a number of great power hitters. Guys like Dave Kingman, Darryl Strawberry, Mike Piazza and Carlos Delgado have all had multiple seasons with 30 or more home runs for the Mets. But none of them hit as many as Carlos Beltran did in 2006. In that magical season, Beltran tied Todd Hundley atop the single-season home run summit by slamming 41 homers. Whereas Hundley only hit 33 HR over his next two seasons, Beltran hit almost twice that amount, blasting 60 HR in 2007 and 2008.
Mike Piazza and David Wright can both boast seasons in which they drove in 124 runs, a Mets’ single-season record. But Carlos Beltran came close to that number three times. In 2006, Carlos collected 116 RBI, good for sixth highest total in club history. The following two seasons, Beltran picked up 112 RBI each year. Although he doesn’t hold the franchise record for RBIs in a season, Beltran is the only Met to record three seasons of 110 or more RBI and his 340 RBI from 2006-2008 are the second-most by a Met in any three-year stretch (David Wright had 347 RBI during the same time period).
Carlos Beltran is currently the National League leader in doubles with 30 (through Sunday’s game). Reaching 30 doubles is nothing new for Carlos, as 2011 marks the fifth time Beltran has reached 30 doubles in a single season for the Mets. He has reached that figure in every season in which he’s played at least 95 games, (In 2009, Beltran played in only 81 games, but still collected 22 doubles.) with a single-season high of 40 two-baggers in 2008 (tied for 7th best in Mets history). Beltran is one of only two Mets (the other is David Wright) to produce at least five seasons with 30 or more doubles.
So what do you think of Beltran’s single-season achievements? Impressive, huh? As great as those numbers are, he’s even better when it comes to the career rankings. It would take forever to name them all and add some commentary to each one, so I’ll just summarize it all in one tidy package, listing each category (including the sabermetric stats) followed by where it ranks on the all-time career leaderboard. Ready? Here we go!
- Batting average: .280 (12th)
- On-base percentage: .369 (6th)
- Slugging percentage: .501 (5th)
- OPS (on-base plus slugging): .870 (5th)
- Runs scored: 548 (8th)
- Hits: 877 (13th)
- Total bases: 1,566 (10th)
- Doubles: 208 (6th)
- Triples: 17 (17th)
- Home Runs: 149 (6th)
- RBI: 557 (6th)
- Bases on Balls: 446 (9th)
- Stolen Bases: 100 (11th)
- Extra-Base Hits: 374 (6th)
- Sacrifice Flies: 37 (7th)
- WAR (Position Players): 32.2 (2nd)
- Offensive WAR: 27.8 (5th)
- Defensive WAR: 4.4 (3rd)
These numbers look even more Amazin’ when you consider that Beltran ranks 13th in plate appearances and 17th in games played. A number of players played more games and came to the plate more often than Beltran did, but very few surpassed his career numbers. In fact, had Beltran collected the same amount of plate appearances as the players ahead of him in some of the categories, he’d rank much higher on the career leaderboard. Here are some examples:
Only seven players have scored more runs than Carlos Beltran in team history. All seven had at least 4,307 plate appearances (Mookie Wilson had that figure). Carlos Beltran scored his runs in only 3,630 plate appearances.
Of the 12 players ahead of Beltran in base hits, all but two (Mike Piazza, Keith Hernandez) achieved their totals in fewer than 4,000 plate appearances.
Mike Piazza is the only player to finish his Mets career with more total bases than Carlos Beltran in fewer than 4,000 plate appearances.
There are five players ahead of Carlos Beltran in doubles. Every one of them did it in at least 4,449 plate appearances (Edgardo Alfonzo had that total). Fonzie collected four more doubles than Beltran, but needed over 800 more plate appearances to reach that figure.
Dave Kingman is the only Met to hit more home runs than Carlos Beltran in fewer plate appearances. Of course, Kingman also struck out 128 more times than Beltran did, despite having more than 1,000 fewer plate appearances than Carlos.
The only player to collect more RBIs than Carlos Beltran in fewer than 4,000 plate appearances is Mike Piazza. Even David Wright, who has a 131 RBI lead on Carlos Beltran, needed almost 900 more plate appearances to achieve his total.
Need more proof that Carlos Beltran is among the best players in franchise history? No? Too bad. I’ve got more Carlos Beltran facts for you.
Carlos Beltran is one of only four players in franchise history to reach the 100 HR/100 SB plateau. Darryl Strawberry, Howard Johnson and David Wright are the other three.
Speaking of stolen bases, Carlos Beltran has swiped exactly 100 bases in his Mets career, while being caught only 16 times. His 86.2% success rate is by far the best in franchise history. (Lenny Dykstra is second with a 82.3% success rate, stealing 116 bases while being caught 25 times.) Let’s put this into perspective. In 2007, Jose Reyes stole 78 bases and was caught 21 times. Reyes was thrown out five more times in one season than Beltran has been caught over his entire seven-year career with the Mets, despite the fact that Beltran swiped 22 more bases in those seven seasons than Reyes did in the year he was caught stealing 21 times.
In 2006 and 2007, Carlos Beltran won the Silver Slugger Award for being the best hitter at his position. He is one of only six Mets to win the award more than once, joining Gary Carter, Darryl Strawberry, Howard Johnson, Mike Piazza and David Wright.
In nearly 50 years of Mets baseball, Carlos Beltran is the only outfielder to win multiple Gold Glove Awards for defensive excellence, taking home the coveted prize in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Prior to Beltran, the only Met outfielder to win a Gold Glove was Tommie Agee in 1970. In addition, Beltran is one of only three Mets at any position to win at least three Gold Glove Awards. Keith Hernandez won six Gold Gloves as a Met from 1983-1988 and Rey Ordoñez took home three Gold Gloves from 1997-1999.
The only time Carlos Beltran made the playoffs as a Met was in 2006. Although Carlos “only” hit .278 in ten playoff games versus the Dodgers and Cardinals, his on-base percentage was .422, reaching base 19 times in those ten games (ten hits, nine walks) and his slugging percentage was .556. The fact that he made the final out of the NLCS shouldn’t take away from the fact that he had a fantastic postseason. Without his two-run homer in Game 1 of the NLCS (accounting for all the runs in a 2-0 Mets victory) and his 3-for-3, two homer performance in Game 4 of the NLCS, the Mets might not have made it to a Game 7.
It seems to me that Carlos Beltran has proven himself repeatedly for the Mets since he became a charter member of the “New Mets” in 2005. He has excelled both offensively and defensively and has been one of the most complete players in franchise history. When other players have not performed, Carlos Beltran has done his best to carry the team on his back. For example, when the team crumbled in the final month of the 2007 and 2008 season, Beltran did not. Carlos had 8 HR, 27 RBI and 22 runs scored in September 2007 and followed that up with an outstanding September in 2008 (.344, 6 HR, 19 RBI, 22 runs scored, .440 OBP, .645 SLG).
Carlos Beltran might not be a member of the Mets for much longer, but he will always be one of the biggest leaders the team has ever had. You don’t need to look at his name all over the Mets’ leaderboard to know that. He’ll be missed when his time in New York is over, but his contributions will never be forgotten.