Great article about Beltran.
- From: Met-in-PR <orb@xxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 21 Mar 2009 08:20:14 -0700 (PDT)
From the NY POST:
BELTRAN'S QUIET, BUT STILL AMAZIN'
PORT ST. LUCIE This was late last season. A table in the Shea Stadium
press dining room occupied mostly by scouts. The subject was Carlos
Beltran and his shortcomings.
One scout thought Beltran was not daring enough, and that he should
be bolder stealing bases in critical situations and in playing a
shallower center field. Another scout wondered why a player with such
wonderful skills had hit better than .300 just once in his career. Yet
another scout said something that got headshakes of agreement around
most of the table, that Beltran had elite skills, but was most
comfortable settling into the background rather than being a
Finally, a veteran scout who had been mostly quiet could be silent no
more. "You would all take him," he blurted. This scout then went on to
say that there was too much nitpicking and that the big picture was
being missed. "Carlos Beltran," the scout said, "is a great player."
It is easy to forget that. Beltran is so quiet, so unassuming, that
you do not think of him as one of the best players in the game. But
you watch him play in the WBC and unfurl the full index of his talents
for Team Puerto Rico hit, throw, field, run and it becomes overt. You
could do that or you can start thinking of better all-around players
in the game. Beltran is going to be some place in the top 20, perhaps
The only other active center fielder in the discussion for having as
good an overall game is Cleveland's Grady Sizemore. And Beltran is
better than Sizemore defensively and Mets VP of Player Development
Tony Bernazard said, "put Carlos in that stadium (Jacobs Field) and
(Sizemore) at Shea and he is a better offensive player."
Quietly, Beltran whether you believe it or not is moving himself into
Hall of Fame consideration. He already ranks 10th all-time among
center fielders in homers (263). He is the most successful stolen base
(minimum 200 tries) man in major league history (88.1 percent). He has
won three Gold Gloves. And he does not turn 32 until April.
"Take a step back and look at this guy," Mets assistant GM John Ricco
said. "Maybe there are guys who are as good defensively. Maybe some
hit better than him. Maybe some run the bases with him. Who does it
all like him?"
There is, in fact, a parallel to be drawn between Beltran and Bernie
Williams beyond that they are switch-hitting center fielders from
Puerto Rico. In Williams' prime, his name often would elicit
conversation about all he was not: a good thrower and a smart base
runner, in particular. It missed the most important element, what he
was: the clean-up hitter on a dynasty who was unafraid of the big
But, also like Williams, Beltran is not flamboyant, not one who seeks
attention. So it is mainly within the construct of a team that he is
appreciated best. The Met family views him as someone who plays hard
and hurt, someone who would never say a bad word about a team and, in
fact, with friends displays a sense of humor.
"He does everything so easily that it looks like he's not trying,"
Ricco said. "But he isn't going to do false hustle just to please
Or as Nelson Figueroa said, "He does demanding things like play
center, run the bases and does it hurt. He is not rah-rah, but he has
great quiet leadership."
And Figueroa said that was evident on Team Puerto Rico in the WBC, as
well. He said the best young player, Alex Rios, essentially idolizes
Beltran and that Pudge Rodriguez's son spent time in Miami getting
pointers not from his dad, but from Beltran.
"You look at his skill set and you look around the team, and you say
we have a lot of talent," Figueroa said. "But, really, it was obvious
that he was our best player."
- Prev by Date: Re: For Freddy
- Next by Date: The problem of Nick Evans
- Previous by thread: Yahoo fantasy baseball, Any room left?
- Next by thread: The problem of Nick Evans