Congratulations are in order for Adrian Beltre. Last week, he became the newest member of the 400 home run club and only the 52nd player in MLB history to accomplish that impressive feat. Only three other active players – Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, and David Ortiz – are in that company. To put it into historical perspective, Beltre is one of only four players to spend at least 75 percent of his career at third base and reach that milestone. The other three players are Mike Schmidt, Eddie Mathews, and Chipper Jones. Two Hall of Famers and one soon-to-be HOFer. That’s some rarefied air. Or maybe that’s just the sausages and peppers that I had for dinner making a return visit. We’ll go with the former. Sorry to any of our girl readers who are (were) reading this. It was nice knowing you!

As impressive as that home run milestone is, Beltre produced those results in an unusual manner. Not quite as unusual as his head-touching phobia, but odd nonetheless. After leading the National League in home runs with 48 and posting career highs in runs (104), rbis (121), and batting average (.334) with the Dodgers in 2004, Beltre signed a massive free agent deal with the Mariners the following offseason. Here’s how he followed up that ’04 breakout campaign during his time in Seattle:

Season Age PA HR R RBI SB BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+
2005 26 650 19 69 87 3 5.80% 16.60% 0.255 0.303 0.413 0.308 90
2006 27 681 25 88 89 11 6.90% 17.30% 0.268 0.328 0.465 0.339 106
2007 28 639 26 87 99 14 5.90% 16.30% 0.276 0.319 0.482 0.343 110
2008 29 612 25 74 77 8 8.20% 14.70% 0.266 0.327 0.457 0.335 106
2009 30 477 8 54 44 13 4.00% 15.50% 0.265 0.304 0.379 0.301 81

While solid, this isn’t the kind of production that conjures up the terms “fantasy stud” or “future Hall of Famer.” Actually, these are the types of numbers that the Mariners’ current third baseman, Kyle Seager, has produced in recent years and seems likely to produce over the next couple of seasons. Nothing flashy, but somewhat disappointing for a power-hitting stud like Beltre during what should have been his prime years.

Fortunately, Beltre picked up the offensive pace in a big way after leaving Seattle following the ’09 season. As I alluded to earlier, it’s uncommon for a player to produce his best results in his thirties as opposed to his mid-late twenties, which is considered prime time for a professional athlete. Fortunately, there’s a player who possessed a similar offensive skill set to Beltre and followed a similar career arc in terms of the aging curve. That player is Jeff Kent. Comp time! Let’s take a look at the offensive numbers that each player produced across his age 31-35 seasons respectively (1999-2003 for Kent and 2010-2014 for Beltre):

Name PA HR R RBI SB BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+
Jeff Kent 3210 137 463 533 43 9.60% 15.60% 0.307 0.377 0.539 0.39 136
Adrian Beltre 3124 145 428 478 6 6.70% 11.80% 0.316 0.364 0.535 0.384 139

Poor Jeff Kent. He was a superstar in his own right, but was stuck in the substantial shadow projected by Barry Bonds’ massive cranium in San Francisco. As you can see in this table, Kent’s offensive production was very similar to Beltre’s in his early-mid thirties. Slightly higher walk and strikeout rates as well as more steals for Kent, but the batting averages, on-base numbers, power numbers, and run production are all very similar. Now let’s take a look at how Kent fared during his age-36 season in 2004 and what Beltre has produced thus far this year in his age-36 campaign:

Name PA HR R RBI SB BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+
Jeff Kent 606 27 96 107 7 8.10% 15.80% 0.289 0.348 0.531 0.369 121
Adrian Beltre 171 5 20 15 1 4.10% 9.40% 0.258 0.292 0.421 0.306 89

Jeez, a declining Kent would be a late first round fantasy pick these days. Sigh. The good news is that Beltre might still be capable of approaching those numbers despite his slow start this season. His 9.4% K% is well below his career average (14.4%) and would represent the lowest mark of his entire career if it holds up. He’s hitting a few more fly balls than usual (41.8% this season; 39.5% career) and they’re being hit with authority (292.99 ft avg fly ball distance is 43rd highest in MLB, an 8.47 ft increase from last season). Beltre’s heating up with the weather as well. After producing a 10/2/2/1/.205 batting line in April, he’s improved that to a 11/3/13/0/.325 line in May, which falls in line with his reputation as a slow starter (April is historically his worst offensive month). It looks like the old man has some gas left in the tank.

Final Verdict:

bull-cool-hd-photo-gallery

 
  1. Filkarri says:
    (link)

    Miggy has 400 bombs as well.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
      (link)

      @Filkarri: Good call. He joined the club a day after Beltre. Thanks for the correction.

  2. J-FOH says:
    (link)

    It’s not like the girl readers are here for you…or me for that matter, it’s all Grey with the sex appeal here.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Don’t forget it!

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
      (link)

      @J-FOH: The jokes bring ’em in, and the cackle makes ’em stay…

      • J-FOH says:
        (link)

        @Big Magoo: the cackle leads to the spackle

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
          (link)

          @J-FOH: Haha. I wonder what a young, single Grey’s batting average was like. Closer to Mario Mendoza or Rod Carew?

          • J-FOH says:
            (link)

            @Big Magoo: George Brett?

            • Big Magoo

              Big Magoo says:
              (link)

              @J-FOH: Late ’70s or early ’90s?

              • J-FOH says:
                (link)

                @Big Magoo: early 80’s

  3. Fireball Feliz says:
    (link)

    YOOOO ADRIAAANNNNN. Lucky he is a Ranger, one of the most fun players to watch and root for

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
      (link)

      @Fireball Feliz: Definitely. I’m a fan too. It always looks like he’s having fun out there, and his interactions with Andrus are a riot.

  4. Clay Carver says:
    (link)

    The headline grabbed me. Huge Mississippi State fan. Yes, I follow softball, golf, and tennis besides the major 3 sports… My daily routine involves visiting this website and a Mississippi State website titled forwhomthecowbelltolls.com. Do you have MSU background?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
      (link)

      @Clay Carver: Nah, it was more of a nod to the Hemingway book “For Whom the Bell Tolls” as well as the Metallica song with the same title.

      I am a tennis fan too though. Can’t wait for Roland Garros.

  5. SteveNZ says:
    (link)

    Just don’t rub his head.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
      (link)

      @SteveNZ: Haha, yup! Check out the link in the 2nd paragraph. Someone put together some clips of head-touching incidents over the past few years. Pretty funny.

      • mauledbypandas says:
        (link)

        @Big Magoo: Love Belts, going to be extremely sad if they trade him away.

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
          (link)

          @mauledbypandas: Yeah, I could see that for a Rangers fan. Might be a good idea to get some prospects for him now though. Not sure if they have the pitching to compete unless they get a Greinke or a Cueto this offseason to pair with Darvish next season.

          • mauledbypandas says:
            (link)

            @Big Magoo: I don’t think they would spend big on a starter. Who knows though. If Perez and/or Harrisson don’t work out they will have to do something.

            • Big Magoo

              Big Magoo says:
              (link)

              @mauledbypandas: Yeah, could be. You’re definitely more plugged into that team than I am. I just see an aging team who’s window has probably closed for a championship run. Great farm system though. They could be a force again in a few years.

      • SteveNZ says:
        (link)

        @Big Magoo: Duh, was sure I scanned the article for mention of the head-rubbing. Had my glasses on too.

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
          (link)

          @SteveNZ: No worries. I miss plenty of things these days.

          • J-FOH says:
            (link)

            @Big Magoo: you guys sound like two old women

            • SteveNZ says:
              (link)

              @J-FOH: Well, my daughter Lizzie turned 10 today, so yeah, I do feel kinda old.

              • J-FOH says:
                (link)

                @SteveNZ: mine just turned 8, but I’m also not in my MID 40’s like you grandpa

                • SteveNZ says:
                  (link)

                  @J-FOH: MID 40s? Wish it was!

                  • J-FOH says:
                    (link)

                    @SteveNZ: LATE 40’s?

                    • SteveNZ says:
                      (link)

                      @J-FOH: Milestone birthday next year…

                  • Big Magoo

                    Big Magoo says:
                    (link)

                    @SteveNZ: You’re still young at heart, Steve!

                    • J-FOH says:
                      (link)

                      @Big Magoo: actually dude has the body of a 20 year old…wait what am I saying?

  6. slimbo says:
    (link)

    8 teamer Keeper league question

    Need to stash travis on the ir.

    Currently have rendon reyes iwakuma corbin and wheeler on there.

    Is corbin or wheeler worth holding onto? Reading corbin could be a top 40 pitcher the 2nd half of the season…hmmm

    Thx for any input :)

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
      (link)

      @slimbo: I’d hold Corbin over Wheeler. I don’t think there’s much difference between the two when healthy, and Wheeler is obviously going to miss more time. Top 40 might be a stretch for Corbin this year, but it’s certainly possible. Might be inconsistent with his control at first, but it should return once he knocks the rust off.

Comments are closed.