July 20, 2012; St. Louis, MO. USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran (3) is congratulated by teammates after scoring in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won 4-1. Image Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

Carlos Beltran: Breakout Season


Make no mistake about it. Carlos Beltran, playing his first season for the St. Louis Cardinals, is enjoying his best season in years.


Entering Sunday night’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Carlos Beltran is hitting .286 but what is more impressive is that he has hit 25 home runs and knocked in 77 RBIs. In 2011, when he split time between the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants, these numbers were closer to what Beltran did the entire season long as opposed to only two and a half weeks after the All-Star break.

The Cardinals signed the outfielder as a way of making up for the offense lost when somebody decided to move out west. Their stats are very similar this season but Beltran bests the other guy entering Sunday night’s game by 1 home run and RBI. To those that said that the Cardinals lost a lot of offense, what say you now?

All in all, this is Beltran’s best season since 2008, which was also the last time he played as close to a full season as possible. In 2008, Beltran played in 161 games.

An article in the recent issue of Sports Illustrated did bring up an interesting question. Is Carlos Beltran good enough to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown? It’s a good question.

Beltran has 327 home runs and an impressive 303 stolen bases. He became the first switch-hitter in Major League Baseball history to join the one-member club this past June. Overall, the list includes Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez, Andre Dawson, Bobby Bonds, Reggie Sanders and Steve Finley. Of that list, Mays and Dawson are the only members of the Hall of Fame. It’s likely that Alex Rodriguez joins them in the Hall of Fame. I’m not going to speculate on Bonds’ chances at this point.

For switch hitters to hit over 300 home runs is an elite list as well. Entering tonight’s contest against the Brewers, it’s a list that includes only nine players: Mickey Mantle (536), Eddie Murray (504), Chipper Jones (464), Lance Berkman (360), Chili Davis (350), Mark Teixeira (334), Beltran (327), Reggie Smith (314), and Ruben Sierra (306).

Beltran does have over 2,000 career hits, which very well helps his resume when it comes to the Hall of Fame.

This could be one of those wait and see type of things.

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