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Saturday, September 08, 2012

TSN: Adrian Beltre’s strong second-half enters Rangers third baseman into AL MVP discussion

Rangers center fielder Josh Hamilton leads the majors in homers, is tied for the RBI-lead and deservedly is being mentioned right after Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout in MVP discussions.

Yet Rangers manager Ron Washington isn’t sure Hamilton is MVP on his own team.

Third baseman Adrian Beltre has been that good.

“If we go through the year and pull this thing off, we’d have to have co-MVPs,” Washington said. “Hamilton carried us the first month and a half and Beltre is carrying us the last. They’d have to be ‘co.’ ”

... One club keen on defensive metrics rates the Rays’ Evan Longoria, when 100 percent, as slightly superior because of superior range.

“Beltre has the better arm, and they’re hands are about the same,” a scout said.

Thanks to Chet.

Repoz Posted: September 08, 2012 at 11:30 AM | 30 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rangers

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   1. Dangerous Dean Posted: September 08, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4230206)
If the World Series came down to one Ranger in a do or die situation, I would want Beltre at the plate. He seems to have come through in the clutch more often this year than any other Texas hitter. And his defense is insanely good.
   2. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: September 08, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4230244)
If Beltre plays those Seattle seasons instead in Texas or Boston, mainstream reporters are talking about him as hall of fame bound at this point. Agree?

Also, sure seems like the sox should have re-signed him instead of gone the agon route.
   3. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: September 08, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4230250)
If Beltre plays those Seattle seasons instead in Texas or Boston, mainstream reporters are talking about him as hall of fame bound at this point. Agree?


He'd be considered more of a sure-thing, I would think. I've definitely heard a lot more HOF chatter about him during this season, but still people saying "after a few more years like this..." as well.
   4. cardsfanboy Posted: September 08, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4230254)
If Beltre plays those Seattle seasons instead in Texas or Boston, mainstream reporters are talking about him as hall of fame bound at this point. Agree?


If he never nomads his career, regardless of who he played for, you are talking about a guy who would be getting some hof talk. I honestly think in the voters eyes, that playing for one or two teams primarily, adds about 5 or so mental war to their totals.


As it stands, Beltre is still young enough that he can start generating some legitimate counting stats while playing elite defense (he's already top 100 career war for position players, he'll soon break top 100 for total bases, will have over 400 homeruns, will probably cruise past the 2500 hit plateau, 1300 runs, 1500 rbi, etc... basically there is a real chance when his career is over he'll be in the top 100 of pretty much every offensive category, if not top 50.... at that point in time, there is no way to keep him out.)

mind you he just needs to have a couple of years more of 4+ war for that to happen, but we were probably saying the same thing about Rolen a couple of years ago. What really hurts is only 3 all star games.
   5. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: September 08, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4230258)
Beltre had an OPS+ of 101 in Seattle vs. 136 in Boston/Texas (and 108 in Los Angeles). Beltre really has been a much better hitter since leaving Seattle. It's not just park effects.
   6. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: September 08, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4230266)
If the World Series came down to one Ranger in a do or die situation, I would want Beltre at the plate. He seems to have come through in the clutch more often this year than any other Texas hitter. And his defense is insanely good.

Hamilton still leads in WPA 1.9 to 1.7 by Fangraphs FWIW, and he's the best hitter on the team. I don't know why anyone would want anyone other than Hamilton up there in a "do or die" situation. As an A's fan, I'd rather have Beltre up there in that situation then Hamilton, or for that matter anyone other than Hamilton.

Beltre seems similar to Robin Ventura, Buddy Bell and Ken Boyer as a HOF candidate as of right now, pretty clearly below Scott Rolen and even Graig Nettles. I think he does need "a few more years like this...." to be taken seriously.
   7. Dale Sams Posted: September 08, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4230268)
The narrative is how Beltre 'took it easy' in Seattle, but if you take a closer look at all the numbers, I still think Seattle got a good deal.

..and I insisted at the time that the Sox find a spot for Beltre and worry about it later. But of course everyone was worried about him repeating and 'playing for a contract'..well done Sox, again.

And to further expound: Sox could have right now..with a minimum of hindsight (really!)

Beltre 16 mill?
Holliday 20 mill?
AGon 22 mill? (as a FA)
Youk
Rizzo
Casey

No Crawford or Lackey.

Don't ask me where everyone plays, cause I have no idea.


   8. cardsfanboy Posted: September 08, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4230272)
If the World Series came down to one Ranger in a do or die situation, I would want Beltre at the plate. He seems to have come through in the clutch more often this year than any other Texas hitter. And his defense is insanely good.

Hamilton still leads in WPA 1.9 to 1.7 by Fangraphs FWIW, and he's the best hitter on the team. I don't know why anyone would want anyone other than Hamilton up there in a "do or die" situation. As an A's fan, I'd rather have Beltre up there in that situation then Hamilton, or for that matter anyone other than Hamilton.

Beltre seems similar to Robin Ventura, Buddy Bell and Ken Boyer as a HOF candidate as of right now, pretty clearly below Scott Rolen and even Graig Nettles. I think he does need "a few more years like this...." to be taken seriously.


Whenever I see anyone talking about clutch perception, the first thing to look at to gauge a players clutch reputation (after their raw rate stats) is to look at strikeouts... Beltre strikes out less often (by a significant amount) than Hamilton. That is going to figure into any perception of clutch.

I would bet that most of the players with clutch reputations among their fanbase(over the better hitter on their team)is going to be a guy who doesn't strike out nearly as frequently(In St Louis that guy is Yadier Molina, but he is also arguably one of the handful of players in the game, who might honestly be clutch)
   9. Srul Itza Posted: September 08, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4230278)
As the younger, more statistically-minded writers gain greater numbers in the BBWAA, Beltre's HOF case will improve.

Among the old-line, his problem is that he has only 3 GGs and 3 ASG appearances, which don't fit the narrative of a great-fielding, HOF-class third baseman; and that his offensive has been very inconsistent, throwing in mediocre or worse seasons in 2003, 2005 and 2009.
   10. cardsfanboy Posted: September 08, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4230291)
As the younger, more statistically-minded writers gain greater numbers in the BBWAA, Beltre's HOF case will improve.

Among the old-line, his problem is that he has only 3 GGs and 3 ASG appearances, which don't fit the narrative of a great-fielding, HOF-class third baseman; and that his offensive has been very inconsistent, throwing in mediocre or worse seasons in 2003, 2005 and 2009.


That is the theory, provided he stays on the ballot. I don't doubt that if Ted Simmons stayed on the ballot he would have eventually made it in, but staying on the ballot is key.

Even if you discount Beltre's defensive reputation somewhat, he's going to end up getting the counting numbers to look like a viable candidate by the time he's done. Of course what would help would be some writers on his cause for MVP or veteran leadership or something intangible to point to that he's more than just a player accumulating stats.
   11. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4230302)
Beltre had an OPS+ of 101 in Seattle vs. 136 in Boston/Texas (and 108 in Los Angeles). Beltre really has been a much better hitter since leaving Seattle. It's not just park effects.
It isn't just park effects, but OPS+ fails to capture how much Safeco hurt Beltre. Safeco is pretty neutral for left-handed hitters, but it just destroys right-handed power and batting average. Beltre is an average-and-power hitter, and he lost a much larger chunk of his production to Safeco than the average hitter. (This doesn't mean that his seasons in Safeco had more value than an OPS+ style park effect would suggest, but it does mean that Beltre's underlying performance was better than is suggest by OPS+.)
   12. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: September 08, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4230316)
Beltre is deserving right now.

For the voters, I think Beltre's case hinges on clearing 3,000 hits. He either needs to a good enough hitter to play 1B/DH as his defense declines, or go the Brooks Robinson route and still be able to pick it in his late 30s. If he can stick at third, Beltre just needs to hit like he did in Seattle to get to 3,000, provided he can stay on the field (health and defense not being independent events).
   13. Dale Sams Posted: September 08, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4230345)
He doesn't need 3000 hits. 450 HRs and 1500 rbis as a 3B, and AS ADRIAN BELTRE. Should be enough.
   14. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 08, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4230413)
Beltre is deserving right now.

Beltre seems to still have some work to do:

Black Ink Batting - 6 (344), Average HOFer 27
Gray Ink Batting - 68 (371), Average HOFer 144
Hall of Fame Monitor Batting - 80 (240), Likely HOFer 100
Hall of Fame Standards Batting - 32 (269), Average HOFer 50


But barring an Andruw Jones like collapse, he has a reasonable chance of making the Hall.
   15. Matt Welch Posted: September 08, 2012 at 07:39 PM (#4230471)
If you take Beltre's road stats season by season and multiply them by 2, he is quite obviously (to me, anyway) a HOF player.
   16. Walt Davis Posted: September 08, 2012 at 08:33 PM (#4230520)
Beltre has very little chance at the HoF unless there is a sea change among the BBWAA (which is not impossible).

As noted, the black and gray ink numbers are not good. As noted he has only 3 GG and 3 AS games. He had his awesome season but otherwise has never mattered in MVP discussions (although he has a legit shot at a top 5 finish this year which will help). He's about to turn 34.

He does have 60 WAR but a full 18 of that WAR is defense -- which for some reason "we" count for Beltre without question but not other defensive wizzes, especially if they can't hit. But only 3 GG. So, unless there is that sea change in BBWAA, none of that defensive mastery will count.

Brooks and Nettles seem the most obvious comps in that they're roughly similar hitters too. They both added nicely to their careers from age 34 on. Brooks sailed in but he had 16 GG and 15 AS, 1 MVP, 4 other top 5 finishes and 17th all-time in MVP shares. In short,great playing comp, absolutely horrible HoF comp. Nettles with 2 GG, 6 AS and an even worse MVP record than Beltre is closer.

Unless he gets hit by a bus (and maybe even if he does), he will probably make it into the HoM easily -- although Nettles, Bell, Ventura, Bando (and Boyer?) haven't. But I don't think Rolen is making it into the HoF so I sure ain't betting on Beltre making it unless he gets to 3000 hits or 500 HR or rattles off another 7 GG.



   17. Ebessan Posted: September 08, 2012 at 08:44 PM (#4230525)
Unless he gets hit by a bus (and maybe even if he does), he will probably make it into the HoM easily -- although Nettles, Bell, Ventura, Bando (and Boyer?) haven't.
Nettles and Boyer are in.
   18. cardsfanboy Posted: September 08, 2012 at 09:00 PM (#4230532)
As noted, the black and gray ink numbers are not good. As noted he has only 3 GG and 3 AS games. He had his awesome season but otherwise has never mattered in MVP discussions (although he has a legit shot at a top 5 finish this year which will help). He's about to turn 34.


You say "he's about to turn 34" as if that is a knock against him. He's had a heck of a career and just needs to age gracefully to get some career numbers.

Yes he has the problem of being a third baseman and the voters are horrible with recognizing third baseman, but that could change. Chipper is going in on the first ballot and he was still "debatable" among the mainstream several years ago.
   19. Srul Itza At Home Posted: September 08, 2012 at 09:07 PM (#4230535)
Beltre has very little chance at the HoF unless there is a sea change among the BBWAA


That's a hell of an assumption in the other direction. He ha 2,200 hits in his age 33 season. If he can stay healthy and productive, he has a shot at 3,000. The betting is against it, but "very little chance" is an overstatement.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: September 08, 2012 at 09:57 PM (#4230545)
You say "he's about to turn 34" as if that is a knock against him.

It is a knock against him. A lot of guys seriously decline around 34-35.

He ha 2,200 hits in his age 33 season. If he can stay healthy and productive, he has a shot at 3,000. The betting is against it, but "very little chance" is an overstatement.

Well, who knows. Beltre of the last 3 seasons has been hitting like George Brett. If he's somehow turned himself into Brett in his 30s and can be counted on to hit 310 for next 3 years or so, then he'll probably have a pretty easy time of making it to 3000. If he turns back into Adrian Beltre, he needs 5 full healthy seasons. The fact is he's now on a rather odd career arc so none of us should feel too comfy.

Also guys who start really early tend to end "early" (in terms of age) but who knows how predictive that is.

Anyway, he has to stay healthy and productive either offensively or defensively while getting to 11,500-12,000 PA. That's pretty unlikely. And even if he does, without GG or a late MVP or postseason heroics or some other storyline, he goes into HoF voting as a career compiler who was never the best player in baseball, "never" the best player at his position, etc. I add all that up and I come up with a pretty low likelihood under recent BBWAA standards.




   21. cardsfanboy Posted: September 08, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4230559)
It is a knock against him. A lot of guys seriously decline around 34-35.


I agree, but not a lot of guys have 2200 hits going into their 34 age season as a third baseman, while still playing gold glove caliber defense. Intuitively I think a drop in defense is probably a good predictor for an impending decline in offense(although I guess Rolen is proof that isn't true), he hasn't dropped yet.

By War he is in the discussion already,(among the saber crowds) a few career milestones and he's in the discussion with typical writer. I think 3000 hits is out of the question realistically, 2500? a given.
   22. Group Captain Mandrake Posted: September 08, 2012 at 10:47 PM (#4230594)
I think 3000 hits is out of the question realistically,


Beltre is 33 and has 2200 hits. The last 10 3,000 hit men and their total after their age 33 seasons:

Jeter - 2356
Biggio - 1868
Palmeiro - 1975
Henderson - 2000
Gwynn - 2039
Ripken - 2227
Boggs - 1965
Molitor - 1870
Murray - 2168
Winfield - 1935

At the end of the season, he'll be ahead of everyone but Jeter and maybe Ripken. Now, some of theses guys aged wonderfully, like Gwynn and Molitor, but Beltre is well ahead of those guys.

But, being on or ahead of the pace of 3,000 hit guys isn't the whole story. How about recent guys who had 2200 or more hits by age 33?

Aside from Jeter and Ripken, and Beltre of course:

Pujols - 2200 hits and a year younger. Looks to be a good bet
ARod - currently at 2870. is all but a lock
Renteria - won't come close
Robby Alomar - fell off a cliff after age 33. Wound up with 2724
the next 3 chronologically all made it, Yount, Carew, and Rose
vada Pinson - finished with 2757
Frank Robinson - finished with 2943
the next 4 made it, Clemente, Aaron, Mays, and Kaline

I'd say he's a damned good bet.


   23. Shredder Posted: September 09, 2012 at 12:04 AM (#4230670)
Hall of Fame, I won't argue, but with regard to the MVP, Mike Trout just proved again that anyone who doesn't vote Trout for MVP has their head completely up their ass.
   24. SoSH U at work Posted: September 09, 2012 at 12:12 AM (#4230674)

I'd say he's a damned good bet.


I'm with you. Obviously a lot can happen between now and 3,000, but the idea that he's some serious longshot to reach it seems curious. I like his chances.
   25. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: September 09, 2012 at 01:56 AM (#4230769)
Recent Olney:
This is [Beltre's] 15th year in the big leagues, and he's only 33 years old, and he's quickly climbing the rankings leaderboard: 340 career homers, 2,199 hits, and he has won three Gold Gloves. Baseball Reference puts him in the neighborhood of Don Mattingly, so I don't think he'd get in today. But eventually, he'll be a slam-dunk candidate.
   26. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 09, 2012 at 02:05 AM (#4230775)
Twenty-six retired (or nearly retired) players have had between 2100-2300 hits through their age 23 season. Seven of them reached 3,000 hits. Those are pretty good odds for something that's hard to do, but not terribly good odds overall.
   27. cardsfanboy Posted: September 09, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4230922)
But, being on or ahead of the pace of 3,000 hit guys isn't the whole story. How about recent guys who had 2200 or more hits by age 33?


Edgar Renteria, Damon had 2102 after his age 3300 season.

26. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 09, 2012 at 02:05 AM (#4230775)
Twenty-six retired (or nearly retired) players have had between 2100-2300 hits through their age 23 season. Seven of them reached 3,000 hits. Those are pretty good odds for something that's hard to do, but not terribly good odds overall.


Or as that post points out, it's less than even odds. (less than 1/3rd of a chance) The reason I posted it as unlikely is because it is unrealistic, is that it would require 5 full seasons out of him(he gets about 160 hits in a full season normally) He's a player who has traveled a lot which means teams aren't going to give him the loyalty of keeping him in the lineup as he ages, so he has to be as good as he is now(or last season) to keep a job as an everyday player in baseball. It can happen but isn't really that likely, while also being healthy for the next five years. Again it's possible, but not very likely.

   28. cardsfanboy Posted: September 09, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4230924)
Hall of Fame, I won't argue, but with regard to the MVP, Mike Trout just proved again that anyone who doesn't vote Trout for MVP has their head completely up their ass.


Not sure how I feel about the 20 game differences between him and Cabrera.
   29. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 09, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4230996)
Damon had 2102 after his age 3300 season.

And I thought Julio Franco was old!

He's a player who has traveled a lot which means teams aren't going to give him the loyalty of keeping him in the lineup as he ages

His current deal with the Rangers pays him $51M over the next 3 years, with a vesting option for $16M if he gets either 600 PA in '15 or 1200 between '14 and '15, so that covers quite a bit of the time he'll need. And the aforementioned Damon found work for quite a long time despite not being nearly as valuable as Beltre outside of his ability to accumulate base hits.
   30. cardsfanboy Posted: September 09, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4231008)
And the aforementioned Damon found work for quite a long time despite not being nearly as valuable as Beltre outside of his ability to accumulate base hits.


But Damon didn't find work as a starter, which was my point about travelling around a lot. In order for Beltre to do it in five years he is going to need to be 1. healthy 2. be given a starting lineup spot over that time frame.

I'm not saying he isn't going to do it, but reasonable odds say he isn't going to do it. Realistically he's not going to do it. But he is going to get 2500+ hits in his career probaby 400+ homeruns, close to 1500+ rbi, 1300+ runs, 70+ war, 500+ doubles, probably 5 gold gloves(has three, should win his fourth this year)

I think barring a complete collapse he is going to go into the hof by the writers(assuming something is done about the backlog)

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