clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Some facts about Adrian Beltre

Adrian Beltre has had a fascinating and unusual career. Here are some facts that help illustrate that.

Tom Pennington

I sometimes find myself looking through Adrian Beltre's Baseball-Reference page and marveling at his career path.  I sometimes find myself tweeting random Adrian Beltre facts late at night.  I finally decided I should just do a post that just sets forth various things about Adrian Beltre's career that I find unusual, unexpected, or just interesting.

  • Adrian Beltre has a career bWAR of 70.0.  That's 4th among active position players, behind ARod, Albert Pujols and Derek Jeter.
  • Adrian Beltre's 70.0 bWAR is 66th all-time among position players, tying him with Scott Rolen, and slotting him between Hall of Famer Bobby Wallace and Hall of Famer Gary Carter.  Among those who have a lower bWAR than Beltre are Tim Raines, Tony Gwynn, Carlton Fisk, Pudge Rodriguez, Ernie Banks, Eddie Murray, Ryne Sandberg, Willie McCovey, Roberto Alomar, Duke Snider and Yogi Berra.
  • Using FanGraphs' defensive numbers, Adrian Beltre is the 13th best defender ever, at 169.2 runs above average.  He is the third best defensive third baseman, behind Brooks Robinson and Buddy Bell.
  • Using Jay Jaffe's JAWS method for evaluating the Hall of Fame worthiness of a player, using bWAR, Beltre is 8th among third basemen.  The only non-HOFer ahead of him is Chipper Jones, who will get into the Hall.
  • Basically, if Adrian Beltre retired at the end of the season, he would be a Hall of Famer.
  • Adrian Beltre is just 34 years old.  Now, that's not exactly young, but because Adrian Beltre seemingly has been around forever, it is still kind of surprising that Beltre is just 34.  To put it in perspective, here are some players who were born the same year as Adrian Beltre (1979):  Byung-Hyun Kim, Ryan Snare (acquired by the Rangers in the same trade when they got Adrian Gonzalez for Ugueth Urbina), former Ranger Rule 5 pick Chris Mabeus, former top pitching prospect turned bust Dennis Tankersley, Johan Santana, Hee-Seop Choi, Carlos Silva, Brandons Claussen Webb and Lyon, Bud Smith (he of no-hitter and blown out arm fame), former Aggie football recruit and failed outfielder Choo Freeman, former Miami QB and failed outfielder Kenny Kelly, former Ranger supposed-to-be-utility-infielder Khalil Greene, Frankie Francisco, Tim Raines The Younger, Corey Patterson, Chris Young (the former Ranger pitcher, not the outfielder), former Ranger supplemental first rounders Jason Romano and Ty Godwin, and John Rheinecker.
  • Adrian Beltre is just 2 years and 3 months older than Nelson Cruz.
  • Adrian Beltre is 3rd among active players in games played, behind Jeter and ARod.  Or he's 4th, if you consider Manny Ramirez active.  And again, he's just 34 years old.
  • And even though he's 34, Beltre seems to be in the midst of his peak.  Adrian Beltre currently has the 17th highest bWAR ever for a position player during his age 31-34 seasons.  And his age 34 season isn't over yet.
  • Of course, the thought for a long time was that Beltre peaked long ago.  Beltre's 2004 season for the Dodgers, when he hit 48 home runs, has been dismissed by some as an incredible fluke season.  Beltre had a bWAR of 9.6 that season -- 75th highest since 1901 for a position player.  It is the 4th highest season by bWAR for a third baseman since 1901, behind Al Rosen's 1953 season, Ron Santo's 1967 season, and Mike Schmidt's 1974 season.
  • Despite posting a 9.6 bWAR in 2004, and leading the National League in home runs that season, Beltre was not named to the National League All Star team.  Scott Rolen and Mike Lowell were the two third basemen named to the team.  The N.L. did carry four first basemen, though, including Sean Casey.
  • Despite being, at least by the FanGraphs stats, one of the best defensive players ever, Beltre didn't win a Gold Glove until 2007.  Adrian Beltre only has four Gold Gloves as of right now.  Derek Jeter, in case you've forgotten, has five Gold Gloves.
  • Adrian Beltre made his major league debut as a 19 year old in 1998.  He was the youngest player in the N.L. in 1998, the third youngest player in the N.L. in 1999, and the fourth youngest player in the N.L. in 2000.
  • Beltre played his first major league game on June 24, 1998, against the Anaheim Angels.  Cecil Fielder started at first base for the Angels that day.  Matt Walbeck was the Anaheim catcher.  Gary Disarcina was their shortstop.  Chuck Finley started for them.  Greg Cadaret, who the A's traded (along with Eric Plunk and Luis Polonia) to get Rickey Henderson from the Yankees back when Rickey was great, pitched in relief for the Angels.  On the Dodgers' side, Darren Dreifort started, Paul Konerko played left field (yes, Paul Konerko once was a Dodger and once was an outfielder), and Eric Karros was the Dodger cleanup hitter.
  • To put how long ago this was in perspective for Rangers fans, the Rangers played the Diamondbacks that same day.  Tom Goodwin, Mark McLemore, Kevin Elster and Fernando Tatis were all in the starting lineup for Texas.  Buck Showalter was managing the D-Backs.  Devon White started in centerfield for Arizona that day.
  • Of course, the Dodgers didn't know that Beltre was 19 when he made his major league debut.  They thought he was 20.  They signed Beltre when he was only 15, thinking he was, in fact, 16 years old.  When it was revealed that Beltre was only 15 when he was signed, the Dodgers were suspended from the Dominican Republic for a year.  Beltre's agent, Scott Boras, asked MLB to nullify Beltre's contract with the Dodgers and make him a free agent, which would have set him up for a historic pay day.  MLB didn't do it, though.