NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 20: Carlos Beltran #36 of the New York Yankees in action against during a game against the Oakland Athletics at Yankee Stadium on April 20, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
We at BronxPinstripes would like to wish Carlos Beltran a very happy birthday! The Yankees right fielder turns 39-years-old today.
Beltran is in the final year of his three-year contract with the Yanks. Ever since last summer, Beltran has arguably been the team’s most consistent hitter. Entering play today, he’s hitting .279 with four homers and nine RBI. He needs just four homers to reach 400 for his career.
Drafted in the second round of the 1995 amateur draft, Beltran made his debut with the Kansas City Royals on Sept. 14, 1998. He won the Rookie of the Year award in 1999, hitting .293/.337/.454 with 22 homers, 108 RBI and 27 stolen bases. He spent six-and-a-half years with KC before getting traded to the Houston Astros in 2004. Beltran would go on to have an historic postseason run in Houston that year, clobbering a record eight home runs.
That performance translated into a seven-year, $119M contract with the Mets. Beltran was traded to the Giants in the last year of that deal, and ultimately signed with the Cardinals for two-years before landing in the Bronx prior to the 2014 season.
If you take away that first year in the Bronx where Beltran had a disappointing year, he’s been a pretty good signing for the Yankees. He’s been the perfect veteran placeholder in right field as Aaron Judge continues to develop down in the minors.
Beltran has a career line of .280/.354/.490 with 396 homers, 1,452 RBI, 2,471 hits, 1,459 runs scored and 311 stolen bases over parts of 19 seasons. He has a career postseason line of .332/.441/.674 with 16 homers and 40 RBI in just 52 games. He’s an eight-time All-Star, and a three-time Gold Glove Award winner.
He’s hinted that he wants to play beyond this season, although there’s always the possibility of retirement. Regardless, he’s one of the game’s greatest switch-hitters and clutch postseason performers, and should be enshrined in the Hall-of-Fame one day.