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Carlos Beltrán

New York Mets — No. 15
Center fielder
Born: April 24, 1977 (1977-04-24) (age 32)
Manatí, Puerto Rico
Bats: Switch Throws: Right 
MLB debut
September 14, 1998 for the Kansas City Royals
Career statistics
(through 2009)
Batting average     .283
Home runs     273
RBIs     1035
Stolen bases     286
On-base percentage     .360
Slugging percentage     .496
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Carlos Ivan Beltrán (English pronunciation: /ˈkɑrloʊs bɛlˈtrɑːn/ bel-TRAHN; born April 24, 1977, in Manatí, Puerto Rico) is a Major League Baseball outfielder with the New York Mets.

In his youth, Beltrán excelled in many sports, with volleyball and baseball being his favorites. At his father's urging, he gave up volleyball to concentrate on baseball when he was seventeen. Graduating from Fernando Callejo High School in 1995, the highly-regarded five tool player was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the second round of that year's amateur baseball draft.

Beltrán is well known for his extremely high stolen base percentage.

Beltrán maintains homes in Port Washington, New York, and Manatí.

Contents

Baseball career

Kansas City Royals

After selecting Beltran in the 1995 draft, the Kansas City Royals assigned him to their rookie-level team in the Gulf Coast League. Beltrán made his Major League debut on September 14, 1998, playing 15 games. Going into 1999, he won the job as the Royals' starting center fielder and leadoff hitter. He displayed significant power by midsummer, and was moved to the #3 slot in the batting order. Beltrán won the American League Rookie of the Year award, batting .293 with 22 home runs, 108 RBI and 27 stolen bases.

Injuries restricted Beltrán to 98 games during the 2000 season and he slumped to .247, losing his center field position to the popular Johnny Damon. After Damon was traded to the Athletics following the season, Beltrán regained his job in 2001 and recaptured his rookie form. He batted .306 with 24 home runs and 101 RBI in that season, followed by lines of .273-29-105 in 2002 and .307-26-100 in 2003.

Beltrán became known for starting sluggishly,and stayed like that for the rest of his career, as in 2003 when he batted .194 in April. His luck changed in 2004, as Beltrán began the year with 8 home runs and 19 RBI and was selected as American League Player of the Month for April.

Playing for a small market club and represented by agent Scott Boras, Beltrán endured trade rumors through the 2003 and 2004 seasons. As the end of his contract neared, the two sides failed to negotiate a longterm deal. Following an interleague doubleheader loss to the last-place Montreal Expos, Royals general manager Allard Baird told reporters that he was preparing to dismantle the team and rebuild it for the 2005 season.

Houston Astros

While Beltrán's name was not mentioned specifically by Royals management, the impending free agent was considered the most likely to garner interest from other teams. On June 24, 2004, Beltrán was traded to the Houston Astros in a three-team deal, which also sent relief pitcher Octavio Dotel from the Astros to the Oakland Athletics, while the Royals picked up Oakland minor leaguers (pitcher Mike Wood and third-baseman Mark Teahen) and Astros catcher John Buck.

While still a Royal, Beltrán had been selected to the American League starting outfield for the 2004 All-Star Game. After the trade to the National League, he was initially denied a place in the game. However, after NL starter Ken Griffey, Jr. went on the disabled list, Beltrán was named his substitute. Beltrán became the first player ever to be selected for one All-Star team but play for the other.

In the 2004 MLB playoffs, Beltrán tied Barry Bonds's single postseason record with 8 home runs. He had one in each of the first four games of the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals, including a game-winner in Game 4. Following his two home runs in Game 5 of the previous NLDS against the Atlanta Braves, this gave Beltrán five consecutive postseason games with a home run, setting a record.

New York Mets

2005

Beltrán's timing was impeccable, because he was a free agent immediately after his torrid postseason ended. Beltrán is what scouts call a "five-tool player", with excellent fielding skills, a good throwing arm, and the ability to hit for average, power, and steal bases.

The New York Yankees were tipped as favorites and Beltran offered them a $20 million discount. The Yankees declined and the crosstown New York Mets signed him to a 7-year, $119-million contract, the biggest in franchise history at the time. It was the tenth contract in baseball history to surpass $100 million.

On August 11, 2005, in a game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park, Beltrán was seriously injured after colliding head-to-head with fellow Mets outfielder Mike Cameron when both were diving to catch a ball in shallow right center field. Cameron missed the rest of the season with a concussion, temporary loss of vision, and two broken cheekbones. Beltrán suffered vertigo for a while, although both players eventually recovered.

Quadriceps injury bothered him most of the season and limited his speed. In 582 at bats, Beltrán's stats included career lows in batting average (.266), home runs (16), runs batted in (78), runs scored (83), and stolen bases (17). Despite these numbers, he was still voted to his second All-Star team.

2006

Carlos Beltrán played for Puerto Rico in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, joining Carlos Delgado, Bernie Williams, Javier Vazquez, Iván Rodríguez and others on the team managed by St. Louis Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo.

Beltrán's 2006 season was an upgrade on his first year in New York. Helped by 10 home runs in May, he surpassed his home run total from the previous year before the 2006 season was half over.

Beltrán's performance secured him a spot in the 2006 All-Star Game, his third. He was joined by five other Mets, including three other starters. Beltrán was a standout for the NL as the only batter with multiple hits, along with two stolen bases. He scored the go-ahead run that gave the National League a 2-1 lead in the third inning. Beltrán might have been the game's MVP, but the American League came back to win in the 9th inning.

Beltrán hit grand slams in consecutive games on July 16 and 18, becoming the 22nd player to do so. Another grand slam at the end of July made him only the third Met to hit three in one season.

Beltrán continued to produce with a walk-off home run against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 22, off Cardinals' closer and former Met Jason Isringhausen. It was Beltrán's second walk-off of the season, following a 16th-inning gamewinner against the Phillies.

Beltrán's 41 home runs tied the Mets' single season record for homers, matching Todd Hundley's total in 1996. His 127 runs scored gave him sole possession of the Mets' single season franchise mark. He and teammate José Reyes won the Silver Slugger Award at their respective positions. He also tied for the major league lead in times reached base on an error (13).[1]

Beltran's defense was also recognized during the 2006 season, as he received his first Gold Glove award. He made only 2 errors in 372 chances to give him a .995 fielding percentage, and recorded 13 outfield assists and 6 double plays.

Beltrán came fourth in the National League MVP award voting, behind winner Ryan Howard, Albert Pujols, and Lance Berkman.

Returning to the playoffs, Beltrán hit three home runs in the 2006 NLCS, bringing his career playoff total to 11 home runs in 22 games.

2007

In 2007, Beltrán hit below .230 from May to July. However, he improved in August and September, finishing with a .276 batting average and 112 RBI. Batting .282 in September with 8 home runs, 27 RBI and 22 runs scored, he was not one of the prime culprits in the Mets' painful collapse down the stretch. In July, he was named to his 4th All-Star Game appearance and upon the conclusion of the season, won his 2nd straight Gold Glove award.

2008

In the final game before the All-Star game Beltrán connected his 15th home run of the season.[1] On August 29 Beltran had all 5 RBIs for the Mets including a grand slam with 2 outs in the 9th to give the Mets a 5-2 lead.[2] The Mets would win this game 5-4. Beltran hit the last and only Mets home run in the final regular season game at Shea Stadium (the last home run would belong to Dan Uggla). The home run was a two run shot that tied the game 2-2 against the Florida Marlins. Beltran won his 3rd straight Gold Glove award in the outfield for the Mets.

2009

He got his 1,000th RBI against Scott Olsen (Washington Nationals) with a triple in the third inning, April 24.[3]

In voting for the 2009 All Star Game, Beltran was third among NL outfielders (2,812,295 votes), trailing only Ryan Braun (4,138,559) and Raúl Ibáñez (4,053,355).[4]

2010

On January 13, Beltran had surgery on his knee and is expected to miss 8-12 weeks. The procedure was performed by Beltran's personal physician Dr. Richard Steadman.[5] The Mets have stated that the surgery was done without their consent, and the team expressed their disappointment with Beltran's decision.[6] However, Beltran's agent Scott Boras claims that the Mets consented to the procedure.[7]

Personal

Beltran is the cousin of Boston Red Sox's 2009 first round draft choice Reymond Fuentes.[8]

Since establishing his foundation, Beltran began a fund with part of his salary, intending to establish a high school focused on developing young athletes.[9] Construction of the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy began in 2009, being established in the municipality of Florida, Puerto Rico.[9] The project has an estimated cost of six million dollars, being built in a terrain of approximately 30 acres. The target date for its inauguration is August 2010, accepting students between the ages of 14 to 18 years, with a curriculum that includes instruction by MLB players.[9]

Accomplishments

  • American League Rookie of the Year (Kansas City Royals, 1999)
  • American League Player of the Month (Kansas City Royals, April 2004)
  • Tied single postseason record for home runs (Astros-8)
  • Won NL Gold Glove (New York Mets, 2006-2008)
  • Won NL Silver Slugger (New York Mets, 2006-2007)
  • Mets single season record holder for runs scored (127) ahead of Edgardo Alfonzo and current teammate José Reyes.
  • Mets single season record holder for home runs (41) tied with Todd Hundley.
  • 4-time All-Star (2004-2007)
  • 1,000th Run scored (Aug. 12, 2008)
  • Highest stolen base percentage in MLB (Min of 250 attempts), 88%
  • 1,000th RBI (Apr. 24, 2009)

See also

References

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Ben Grieve
American League Rookie of the Year
1999
Succeeded by
Kazuhiro Sasaki
Preceded by
Kerry Wood
Baseball America Rookie of the Year
1999
Succeeded by
Rafael Furcal
Preceded by
Ben Grieve
Players Choice AL Most Outstanding Rookie
1999
Succeeded by
Terrence Long
Preceded by
Alfonso Soriano
American League Player of the Month
April 2004
Succeeded by
Melvin Mora
Preceded by
Carlos Beltrán
Matt Holliday
Alfonso Soriano
NL Silver Slugger/ Outfield
2007
Succeeded by
Ryan Braun
Matt Holliday
Ryan Ludwick

]








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