By Jared Sandler | @SandlerJ
105.3 THE FAN — Adrian Beltre is a Hall of Famer. I have zero doubt about that and, to be honest with you, I’m confused why it is even a question.
Let’s start with the offense.
He is in the top five of several major offensive categories among third baseman all-time. How does he compare to other third baseman in the Hall?
Home Runs: 3rd
Runs Batted In: 4th
Those are just a few categories.
No third baseman has ever reached 400 HR, 1400 RBI, 2800 H, and 500 2B. Barring a sudden career-ending injury, Beltre will be there by next year. The only one. Ever.
He’s also just the 14th member of the 400 HR-500 2B-100 SB club. Nine are in the Hall of Fame. Four, including Beltre, are not yet eligible because they are either still playing or not far enough removed from retirement, and the other one is Barry Bonds.
And that’s just offense.
He’s won four Gold Gloves and, while there are a handful who have won more at his position, he’s regarded as, at worst, the second best defensive third baseman of his generation. Several defensive metrics suggest he is the best defensive third baseman of his era and, regardless of the metric, most players and coaches, as well as the longtime “experts,” will tell you he is one of the best to play the field at the hot corner.
There is an argument against him, I guess, but I just don’t buy it. And neither do the players or coaches. I asked six of them and they all agreed.
But they don’t get to vote. So, naturally, I asked seven voting members. Six of them said he’s a Hall of Famer right now. The other said he believes he will be worthy when he retires.
Adrian Belte. Hall of Fame. Class of __________.
*I discussed this with Mike Bacsik, Shan Shariff, R.J. Choppy, and Mac Engel on 105.3 The Fan last week.
Playing Pepper (Random Rangers thoughts)
*Here’s the curtain call Beltre received after hitting home run number 400.
*Delino DeShields is one of the three most exciting Rangers to watch this year. His trips on the bases aren’t always perfect–though he’s been very good–but his speed is just a wonder to watch.
*Is it possible that Yovani Gallardo, Colby Lewis, and Nick Martinez all stay, at worst, very solid through the entire year? I think Colby emerges as the team’s best wire-to-wire pitcher, with N-Mart second, and Yo third…or maybe the other way around? I have no clue.
*I asked Jeff Banister if he’d ever seen anything like what Shin-Soo Choo was going through with two totally contradictory streaks (10+ game hitting streak and strikeout streak). He simply looked at me and said: No. Never. Choo’s strikeout streak ended at 14 games, while his hitting streak ended at 14 games, too.
*Carlos Peguero is making the Rangers’ roster decision when it is time to call up Josh Hamilton much easier with his struggles at the plate.
*I’m cautiously hopeful a revamped bullpen that includes Tanner Scheppers and Ross Ohlendorf can actually help this team.
*In a perfect world, Feliz doesn’t ever lose his closer’s role because of the trade value he maintains when pitching well.
*No. The Rangers should not trade for Jonathan Papelbon.
Quotes of the Week
“Best professional I’ve ever seen.”
— Jeff Banister on Adrian Beltre
Stat of the Week
4.36 — the amount of pitches/plate appearance Delino DeShields is seeing in the month of May. His patience and plate discipline is undoubtedly a large reason why he’s reaching base 47.7% of the time this month.
Stock Up/Stock Down
Here’s a weekly look at performances of Rangers players
UP: Delino DeShields
From barely making the team to many wondering how long he’d last and now, to being a guy some people are arguing should play everyday, DD’s definitely earned his keep so far. He started all seven games this homestand and went 9-for-23 (.391) with a .500 on-base percentage.
DOWN: Carlos Peguero
Unlike DeShields, Peguero was barely seen this homestand because his struggles at the plate continue. He went 0-for-13 this week with seven strikeouts.
*ESPN’s Buster Olney took an interesting and, perhaps, troubling look at the state of PEDs in Major League Baseball.
*Here’s the Hello, Win Column! podcast with former MLB’er Mike Bacsik and me: We discuss Neftali Feliz, Delino DeShields, and Leo at the leadoff spot.
*Ever how the Rangers settled on the theme song from “The Natural” as their home run call? Public address announcer, Chuck Morgan, explains…
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