#10 Carlos Beltran
John Mozeliak made the shrewd and surprising move of attempting to replace the gaping hole left by Albert Pujols with Beltran in the 2011 offseason. He could have just let the kids have at it and trust Lance Berkman to play 160 games, however he didn’t. He brought in one of the game’s best available bats in Beltran and it worked. In 2012, Beltran posted a slash of .269/.346/.495 for an 842 OPS. He hit 58 extra-base hits (32 homers, 26 doubles, one triple). Solidly replacing the production lost from Pujols’ exit.
He then continued his unreal postseason success, hitting .444/.542/.944 in the NLDS with two homers and three doubles helping the Cardinals send the Nationals home. He then continued the hot streak into the NLCS against the Giants cooling off just a little, with a slash of .300/.364/.600 with one homer and three doubles in the series loss.
Beltran had another good year in 2o13, .296/.339/.491 was his slash that year, as he chipped in 58 extra-base hits (30 doubles, 24 homers, 3 triples). Beltran then hit an OPS of .944 in the 2013 NLDS, as he hit 2 homers against the Pirates. While, he did not hit a homer in the NLCS (second career postseason series without homer), he did go 6-21 with two doubles and six RBI in that series as the Cardinals beat the Dodgers to advance to the World Series. Where Beltran was 5-17 with 3 RBI in the series loss to the Red Sox.
It was unfortunate that the Cardinals couldn’t get the someday HOF OF a World Series title. However, Beltran will always be one of the best free agent signing in team history.
Next: Honorable Mention