Beltre Appreciation Thread

Dave · April 30, 2008 at 8:15 am · Filed Under Mariners 

I’ve got a post up over at Fangraphs in my continuing attempt to get people to realize that Adrian Beltre is a quality player, and at this point, he’s almost certainly underpaid.

Seriously, where would the M’s be without him right now? .309/.409/.553, 16 walks and 14 extra base hits, and some terrific defense at the hot corner. Since the M’s are handing out contract extensions, perhaps they should contact Beltre’s agent – he’s a guy they should locking up.


45 Responses to “Beltre Appreciation Thread”

  1. BigB on April 30th, 2008 8:24 am

    I most definitely agree that he is essential for our team, but I would think that fans think we paid him to do what he did in his MVP season, which he hasn’t come close to. That’s why people argue that he is overpaid.

    I, however, believe he’s earning his keep.

  2. Dave on April 30th, 2008 8:32 am

    Those people don’t know what they’re talking about. If you were paying a guy to hit .330/.400/.600 and play gold glove defense at third base, you’d pay him $25-$30 million a year, because he’d be one of the three or four best players in baseball.

  3. BigB on April 30th, 2008 8:34 am

    And I agree with that statement. People don’t realize what is realistically expected of a player like Beltre when he is signed. We know he’s no A-Rod, but he might be the next best thing (especially considering his stellar defensive play).

    All in all, your post hit it spot on, Dave. Labeling Beltre as a bust or under performing, at this point, is absurd. And hopefully people will begin to recognize that.

  4. jspektor on April 30th, 2008 8:40 am

    I am very happy with Beltre’s performance thus far – it is too bad the whole team is resting on his shoulders because of the lack of performance by all the other guys. Imagine the type of damage Beltre would cause if he had some legitimate lineup protection.

    I certainly love watching him play in the field, what a defensive player.

  5. fret_24 on April 30th, 2008 8:45 am

    I’m a big Beltre fan as well and have argued this very point several times with friends that have that same misguided opinion. They now start this argument as a joke just to get me going…works every time. My wife’s fascination with Adrian is getting a little odd though.

  6. Tek Jansen on April 30th, 2008 8:55 am

    Part of the reason people don’t appreciate Beltre is that they undervalue his defense and the defense required of his position. He gets lumped in with Sexson, the other big FA signing prior to the 2005 season, as if gold glove thirdbasemen and lousy fielding firstbasemen were equivalent.

  7. tylerv on April 30th, 2008 9:00 am

    Beltre’s got style. I love watching him field more than watching almost anybody hit. How does he sling the ball like that? Great footwork for a big dude. Hitting? When he lays off those balls, lays off the low and away slider, waits for a good pitch to hit, he’s a smacker. Go AB!

  8. pinky on April 30th, 2008 9:02 am

    In your Fangraphs article, you say

    “In 2006 and 2007, Beltre put up two seasons of similar quality to each other, establishing himself as a slightly better than league average hitter while playing a quality defensive third base. Among American League third baseman, the only guys with an argument as superior players are Alex Rodriguez and Mike Lowell.”

    I’m not arguing Beltre’s merits (he’s my favorite M’s player – I love watching him play defense), but it’s a little confusing. Is his defense so good that it makes up for his offensive deficiencies?

  9. okobojicat on April 30th, 2008 9:04 am

    I agree that Beltre is undervalued, especially for the past three years, throwing up OPS+ of 105, 112, and an ungodly 166 this year (comparable to his year with the Dodgers of 163) but does signing him make long term financial sense. He claims to be 29, which if true, means he should continue to have 4-5 very productive years.

    However, if he is even 3 years older, he has 1-3 years where you can expect similar production. The M’s have Matt Tuiasosopo down at Tacoma. Tui is only 22 and has an ops of .754, and more impressively, a career ops of .738, which is pretty good for someone who has been playing significantly above his age level at all of his minor league stops.

    Signing Beltre significantly changes how the M’s have to evaluate Tui. Does he become a 1B, or an OF, or do they stunt his growth. I’m actually a fan of a 2-year, say, 15m a year deal for Beltre (Beltre is currently making 12.?m (Cot’s and B-R disagree)), and then two club option years at 14m, and 16m respectively.

  10. Dave on April 30th, 2008 9:05 am

    He only has offensive deficiencies if you’re comparing him to A-Rod or don’t understand positional scarcity.

  11. Dave on April 30th, 2008 9:06 am

    Beltre was already found to have lied about his age – he was younger than he claimed, not older. Beltre is 29 – there are no doubts about that.

  12. okobojicat on April 30th, 2008 9:06 am

    Beltre was already found to have lied about his age – he was younger than he claimed, not older. Beltre is 29 – there are no doubts about that.

    Well, then, sign him up.

  13. currcoug on April 30th, 2008 9:12 am

    Lets hope Clement and Balentien get their chance and make the most of it. That would save the M’s a lot of money, which they could use on Beltre, who deserves an extension.

  14. jspektor on April 30th, 2008 9:32 am

    Imagine this lineup:

    Ichiro – CF
    Lopez – 2b
    Ibanez – LF
    Beltre – 3b
    Clement – DH
    Sexson (damn him) – 1b
    Balentien – RF
    Johjima – C
    Betancourt – SS

    To think that this could be a reality! I would love getting Clement some protection – maybe even move Sexson below Balentien to the 7 spot.

  15. robbbbbb on April 30th, 2008 9:33 am

    We’re all Red now.

  16. smb on April 30th, 2008 9:42 am

    Lock him up! He’s one guy that is consistently fun to watch play. Just ask Beltre Guy on the first base side.

  17. Eleven11 on April 30th, 2008 9:55 am

    Extend his contract? Why?
    Is he on the back end of his career? Is he coming off a serious leg injury? And, exactly which wars has he been through? Hmm?

  18. mln on April 30th, 2008 9:57 am

    This site really needs a picture of Red holding his Beltre bobblehead. It would go well with the Pony.

  19. pinky on April 30th, 2008 10:42 am

    I would have sworn that in the Fangraph article you mentioned Beltre’s “offensive deficiencies.” I don’t see it there now, so my mistake. Your snark is warranted.

  20. themedia on April 30th, 2008 11:08 am

    I have to say I’m cautiously optimistic about Beltre’s contribution so far this year. I don’t think he’s overpaid or underpaid, so I think it would be a mistake to extend him no by the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it rule. He really struggled in ’05 after he got his big deal, so let’s wait and see what he does with the rest of the ’08 season before we get too trigger happy.

    P.S. I think we can all admit we may be a little extra high on Beltre right now because of that rifle to the right-field bleachers last night. So clutch.

  21. CaptainPoopy on April 30th, 2008 11:51 am

    So why does Griffey rosterbation get like 80 replies (albeit wasn’t a JR thread to start) and a Beltre appreciation thread is struggling with 20?

  22. marinersintheblood on April 30th, 2008 11:57 am

    After watching last night’s game, I have to wonder what Beltre’s numbers this year would be if pitchers felt they had to pitch to him. But with four guys behind him batting right around .200, just parking him on first is a pretty safe move.

  23. arbeck on April 30th, 2008 12:28 pm


    Although I bet Beltre would never admit, I chalk up the majority of his 2005 struggles to Safeco Field. We’ve seen quite a few times how the field can absolutely destroy a right hand hitter. I believe that it took Beltre a while to figure out how to hit here.

  24. Mike G. on April 30th, 2008 12:48 pm


    Laser shot, diving stop
    Get set, side-arm throw to first
    OUT! umpire cries

  25. Mike G. on April 30th, 2008 12:57 pm

    Bel-ku 2

    Batter’s box shimmy
    Why appeal your own check swing?
    Beltred! Fly Away!

  26. BurkeForPres on April 30th, 2008 1:03 pm

    I love those Bel-ku’s. Really funny.

    I love to see Beltre having a really good year to start off. I know he got a lot of crap for under-performing, seeing as he had 50+ HR in LA that one year, but he might be my favorite Mariner.

  27. jlc on April 30th, 2008 1:11 pm

    So why does Griffey rosterbation get like 80 replies (albeit wasn’t a JR thread to start) and a Beltre appreciation thread is struggling with 20?

    If it helps any, some people are having trouble getting into the site right now.

    -Beltre’s fun to watch. I love a player with both grace and quirks.
    -He anchors our infield, both physically and, uh, mentoringly.
    -He can flat out hit the ball.
    -I keep remembering how he came out to the mound last year when Felix was in danger of meltdowns. More mentoring goodness.
    -He’s doing this with an injured thumb and without a cup.

  28. Logger on April 30th, 2008 1:12 pm

    I haven’t seen a post for this yet but my buddy just told me that Wilkerson was released. Any truth to this?

  29. jlc on April 30th, 2008 1:24 pm

    Posted on the Wlad/Clement thread is a link to Baker saying they’re up.

  30. DougP on April 30th, 2008 1:29 pm

    Wlad is batting 7th tonight in Cleveland.

  31. Mariners2010 on April 30th, 2008 1:31 pm

    Clement and Wlad up. Norton and Wilkerson DFA.

  32. DougP on April 30th, 2008 1:34 pm

    Wilkerson and Norton designated for assignment. Clement and Balentien are up.

  33. DougP on April 30th, 2008 1:35 pm

    Sorry Mariners2010, I didn’t refresh before sending.

  34. Mariners2010 on April 30th, 2008 1:36 pm

    No worries. Hurry for youngness!

  35. Mariners2010 on April 30th, 2008 1:36 pm

    Hurray that is.

  36. marinersintheblood on April 30th, 2008 2:22 pm

    Why DFA Norton? He’s been the best off the bench so far, and looked like a steal. Why not Cairo?

  37. north on April 30th, 2008 2:38 pm

    Someone above wanted to up the comment numbers. So…

    Beltre is great. Hold up his head!

  38. Marcel on April 30th, 2008 3:30 pm

    Wow, I’ll be honest. I am extremely suprised to see that Beltre already has 16 BB’s on the season. If he can keep that rate over the whole season, it would certainly be a pleasant suprise.

  39. SpokaneMsFan on April 30th, 2008 3:40 pm

    3 year extension, yes please!

  40. RITTEM1 on April 30th, 2008 3:48 pm

    I am assuming BorASS is still Beltre’s agent which means a couple of things. Beltre will test free agency and there will be a really cool 3-ring binder sent to all prospective teams documenting his ‘value’ to the club. Let’s hope Beltre drops BorASS prior to becoming a free agent.

  41. jmb13 on April 30th, 2008 4:39 pm

    You know he won’t drop Boras, would you if you were Beltre and he was your agent? I say get the ball rolling on an extension now and attempt to avoid free agency all together…

  42. gps on April 30th, 2008 4:42 pm

    There have been several comments in this thread about “protection” of hitters in the lineup. Has there been any recent analysis of the notion of protection?

    Back in the olden days of the Bill James Baseball Abstract, I recall that one topic he took on was the commonly held belief that Dale Murphy was a much better hitter when oft-injured Bob Horner (olden days, alright) was in the lineup to protect him. James looked over several years and found that, in truth, Murphy’s stats were way better when Horner was sidelined.

    I have my doubts that protection is real. If it was, Beltre would have about 70 walks already. Clement won’t need protection right away. I suspect they’ll come right after him until he shows what he can do.

  43. Sentinel on April 30th, 2008 8:22 pm

    Clement won’t need protection right away. I suspect they’ll come right after him until he shows what he can do.

    Small sample size, I know, but he sure knocked the hell out of that ball today.

  44. hiRes on April 30th, 2008 8:38 pm

    In honor of our 3B-man, maybe Mr Niehaus could change his call on the day his bobblehead comes out, “… and it’s a high fly ball, Beltred to deep center, back to the warning track, and fly fly away…”

  45. Sentinel on April 30th, 2008 8:40 pm

    That’d be great!

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