|Beltre Rises to the Occasion||| Print ||
Written by Jim Mancari (Contact & Archive) on October 10, 2011
Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre has been known for producing on the big stage.
Last week was no different, as Beltre clubbed three home runs in the Rangers' Division Series-clinching win. Texas will look to his potent bat as it tries to win their second straight ALCS and defend their AL pennant.
Despite signing a six-year $96 million contract this offseason, it seems as though Beltre was lost in the shuffle this season in Texas. The Rangers lineup was an offensive powerhouse, featuring Josh Hamilton, Michael Young, Nelson Cruz, Mike Napoli and Ian Kinsler.
When looking in-depth at Beltre's career, he's had a knack for producing with the game -- and the money -- on the line. There's no questioning Beltre's raw talent, but it can be argued that he sometimes falls into lazy habits that affect his play on the field.
In fact, the term "Adrian Beltre Syndrome" has been adopted for players who have a huge year in their contract year in order to earn another deal. Naturally, Beltre is not the only player who has ever done this, but it's uncanny how his seasons fit this mold.
In his first five full years, Beltre's production fluctuated immensely. He had trouble putting up consistent numbers and spent several stints on the disabled list.
Beltre was first eligible for free agency after the 2004 season. As previously mentioned, that was his career year. In addition to the 121 RBIs, he also crushed a league-leading 48 home runs and hit .334.
The Seattle Mariners realized his potential and inked him to five-year $64 million deal prior to the 2005 season. Beltre was set for at least another five seasons.
In Seattle, Beltre had an off year statistically his first season but put together a few good power seasons in the middle of his contract. However, in the final year of his deal, injuries limited him to just 111 games in which he hit a career-low eight home runs.
Based on his track record and potential, Beltre was lucky enough to earn a one-year deal with the Boston Red Sox last season.
Once again, "Adrian Beltre Syndrome" was in full swing. Beltre hit a monstrous .321 with 28 home runs, 102 RBIs and a league-leading 49 doubles. Do we see a trend developing here?
Beltre's big year earned him his current multi-year contract, despite being 31 years old. But unlike his last multi-year contract with Seattle, he had a productive year in the first of a six-year pact.
Of course, Beltre's career numbers can easily be a coincidence. When he was healthy, he was a productive player, plain and simple. It just so happened that his healthy seasons came in his walk years.
The "Adrian Beltre Syndrome" is a hypothesis at best, but it is certainly an interesting thought. Beltre can prove the believers of this theory wrong by having a strong rest of the postseason and continuing his production throughout the remainder of his contract.
Beltre signed with Texas because he felt he would have the best chance to win his first World Series ring. Let's see if the Rangers can accomplish this feat later on in October.