MMO Mailbag: Is Carlos Beltran A Hall Of Famer?
I received this email from one of our longtime readers who you all know as Markcomic1.
This question popped into mind as I was doing my usual joke writing, baseball reading and news trolling. Carlos Beltran is sneaking up on 2000 hits for his career, he has over 330 home runs and over 300 steals with a decent .280 plus batting average lifetime. Is he a potential Hall of Fame candidate and why? Also what five peers (same age/time of service, etc. would you say are comparable to him and are they HOF worthy as well?
Personally, if you ask me, he is on the cusp. The 300-plus in both steals and homers help and he was a plus defender until his knees started to go. But the injuries, and the Mets collapses hurt him a bit.
Also to me he has to have close to or over 400 home runs plus at least 2,500 hits to seal it. Though he does have one of the higher stealing percentages and a pretty darn good .360 OBP for his career. I just don’t know..
So I figured I would pose it to you guys, being that you’re my favorite site and hope you all get together and write about it and post what you guys think and feel on the matter.
Mark Anthony Ramirez AKA Markcomic1
I asked a few of our writers to comment and this is what they had to say.
No – very good player but not an all-time great. At 35 years old he’s struggling for consistency in an entire season, and if he retired today he’d still fall short of Bernie Williams on the ballot and I don’t think Williams is a Hall of Famer.
His fielding was very good, but only good enough for 3 Gold Gloves – which isn’t enough to carry you into the Hall of Fame. Based on his 2nd half decline in 2012, I’d say next year will be his last as a starter. If that’s the case, his resume for the Hall will be roughly 2,200 hits, 350 HR, 1,330 RBI, and maybe 315 SB, 0 MVP, 3 Gold Gloves.
That’s a nice career and nothing to be ashamed of, but it’s not a Hall of Fame career
If Beltran’s career ended today, the no, he’s not a HOFer. Consider the following comparison of career center fielders.
Player: .297/.381/.477/.858, 287 HRs, 1257 RBI, six top-20 MVP finishes (two top-10), five AS games, four Gold Gloves, one Silver Slugger
Beltran: .282/.360/.496/.856, 334 HRs, 1243 RBI, five top-20 MVP finishes (one 21st place, two top-10), seven AS games, three Gold Gloves, two Silver Sluggers
Those numbers are about as comparable as can be. The player is Bernie Williams, universally regarded as a very good player, but not a Hall of Famer. If Beltran were to find a way for his knees to allow him three more years to hit 400 home runs, crack 1,500 RBI, but not drop below .280 average and .360 OBP, then I think he has a legitimate case, but that’s asking a lot of knees that have hampered him considerably already.
Carlos Beltran is not a Hall of Famer – he was a very good player during his generation, but when I think Hall of Fame, I think of iconic players. Look at the list of some of the guys that are in the Hall and played centerfield – Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio Ty Cobb, Duke Snider. Seeing Kirby Puckett getting inducted makes one think that Beltran’s numbers are good enough to get him in, but Kirby Puckett should not have gotten in. I mean, I honestly feel like Eric Davis was a better player than Puckett and Beltran, and he isn’t in consideration for the hall. The next Centerfielder to join the hall of fame ranks will be Ken Griffey Jr, and then maybe Josh Hamilton after him if he can stay healthy and produce a few more years. I actually think Josh Hamilton gets in before Beltran does.
I remember writing a piece for Studious Metsimus on this topic before the 2012 season began (a piece in which you left a very complimentary comment – thank you so much), where I said that he’d have to play like Paul Molitor did after his 35th birthday to make the Hall of Fame. Well, he did just that in 2012, with his 32 HR, 97 RBI, 13 SB season.
I’m looking at his career regular season numbers as I type this: .282/.360/.496. He has 2,064 hits, 416 doubles, 334 HR, 306 SB, 1,267 runs scored, 1,243 RBI and is a 7-time All-Star and 3-time Gold Glove winner. I would think he’d need to finish his career with 2,500 hits, 500 doubles, 400 HR, 350 SB, 1,500 runs scored and 1,500 RBI, and perhaps another All-Star selection or two to be a strong HOF candidate. But if continues to be the dominant post-season hitter he’s become (28 games, .375/.488/.817, 13 HR, 23 RBI, 37 runs scored), he might not need to do much more to be a serious candidate. I mean, Beltran has reached base 63 times in 28 career postseason games (39 hits, 23 walks, 1 HBP). That’s insane! And he’s doing that in pressure-packed situations! Mets fans remember his NLCS-ending strikeout, but forget he had a 1.054 OPS in that same series, and that he only struck out three times in the entire series.
I don’t think Beltran is there yet, but if he continues to have a strong postseason and gives us another year or two similar to what he produced in 2012, then it would be hard to keep him out. He’s done everything well throughout his entire career.
First off, Beltran is definitely somebody I would like to see in the Mets Hall Of Fame. There are a few reasons that I think he deserves, at the least, consideration for the Cooperstown.
Beltran is the 8th player in the 300 HR/300 SB, a pretty respectable club. With his career NOT over yet, you can see that he has over 2,000 hits and 400 2Bs. With 2,000 Hits, 300 Home Runs, 400 Doubles and 300 Stolen Bases, which puts him in a set of only six guys: Himself, Steve Finley, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, and Andre Dawson. His career SB success rate, with men with over 300 steals recorded, is ranked number 1 in history at 86.69%. Out of the six men above, the only one who has cracked 80% besides Beltran, is Alex Rodriguez. So Beltran has established himself as a respectable offensive model with a mix of nice numbers. His career split is .282/.360/.496.
He has right around 1,250 RBI and Runs scored respectively, nice numbers as well. Combine this with the fact that Beltran has been exceptional defensively throughout his career and has racked up 128 OF assists (showing not only speed, but an arm), and you find a player that is certainly in the discussion.
Although this is a short sample size, in 25 postseason games, he has 13 HR/23 RBI/9 SB v 0 CS/ and an average upwards of .350. Even just being a part of the 300/300 club, Beltran represents a borderline Hall of Famer who at least deserves the debate, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.
I’m biased because Carlos Beltran has always been one of my favorite players even before he became a Met. When Omar Minaya signed him, to me it felt the same as when we traded for Mike Piazza, so that tells you a lot about my feelings about Beltran. And while neither of them led the Mets to a championship, they each left indelible marks in the franchise record books and in the hearts of many (but not all) Mets fans.
Beltran looks like he’s far from done and had the Mets tended to his knee injuries and diagnosed the problem accurately and earlier, this wouldn’t even be a discussion right now, Beltran would be a lock. But even so, he still has 4-5 years left which would easily be at least 600-700 hits and all the home runs, doubles, runs scored and RBI to go with those hits.
Beltran is also one of the greatest post season players the game has ever seen.
So yes, when all is said and done, I believe Carlos Beltran will make his way to Cooperstown. Players who have accomplished much less are already there.
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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