In Should or Shouldn’t, we’re going to take a look at current, or recently retired players, and examine whether or not we believe that they should be in the Hall of Fame. First up, is Adrian Beltre, third baseman for the Texas Rangers. Starting his career in 1998 as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, he continues playing great baseball in 2016.
To date, Adrian Beltre, has played 2613 games in his career. He has failed to play more than 140 games only five times in his career. One of those seasons he finished with 138. Consequently, it’s no surprise that he’s amassed 2812 career hits. Joining the 3000 hit club is a realistic goal for Beltre. He also has 420 career home runs. It’s unlikely that he will be able to reach 500, but he’s currently sixth on the all-time list for third basemen.
Beltre is no slouch in the field either. Throughout his career he has been an above-average fielder based on FanGraphs’ UZR. He won the Gold Glove four times, as a result. There is also a strong argument to be made that he should have earned a few more, too. But, the bottomline is that he’s been one of the better defensive third basemen in the game throughout his career.
There is another facet to Beltre’s career that deserves attention, as well. It’s his personality. The guy always looks like he’s having a good time. His antics are all over the internet. The relationship between him and Texas shortstop, Elvis Andrus, deserves special attention. The two are always good for a few great moments over the course of a season.
Overall, Adrian Beltre has a career WAR of 76.1. Brooks Robinson has a career WAR of 80.2, and Paul Molitor retired at 67.8 WAR. Robinson and Molitor are both in the Hall of Fame. Then there’s Ken Griffey Jr. who retired with a career WAR of 77.7, a mark Beltre could top by the end of this season. While WAR isn’t everything, it does paint a good picture of just how good Beltre has been.
At this point, it should be clear that Adrian Beltre belongs in Cooperstown. He’s been one of the best players in the game, and rarely received the attention he deserved. He’s a four time all-star. He’s won four Silver Slugger awards. He’s even earned two Platinum Gloves. The only question that we should be asking is, “what hat will he wear?”
Stats courtesy of FanGraphs