On Friday, the Texas Rangers and Adrian Beltre agreed to a two-year, $36 million contract extension. Beltre was on track to reach free agency at the end of this season, but this deal secures the 37-year-old third baseman a place in Arlington through the 2018 season.
In a batting order that has had its fair share of notable alterations over the previous few seasons, including the additions of Ian Desmond and Prince Fielder and subtraction of Nelson Cruz, Beltre has been a consistent name and source of pop in the loop of hitters, averaging over twenty home runs a season in his career.
Not only does Beltre hit with authority, he handles his duties at the hot corner very well. His defensive capabilities are apparent by the four Gold Gloves and two Platinum Gloves on his resume.
His slick barehanded plays will always draw attention, but Beltre is most renowned for his bat. And rightfully so. Of his 415 career homers entering the 2015 season, Beltre hit 135 in his tenure with Texas. Pair that long-ball total with 560 doubles and 1,467 RBIs and it’s plausible to state that Beltre has a case for the Hall of Fame. He should reach 3,000 hits early next season.
A comparison can be drawn between Beltre and former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, and it’s just a matter of time until Jeter is permanently enshrined in Cooperstown. Beltre and Jeter are (were) among the best defenders at their respective positions. Jeter got on base at a higher rate (a .377 on-base percentage) during his valiant major-league career than Beltre has in his; Beltre brings more power to the table than Jeter, who clubbed 260 homers in twenty seasons with the Yanks.
Beltre missed about three weeks in 2015 due to a laceration on his left thumb, but it did not affect his season statistics as a whole, however, as Beltre managed to whack eighteen home runs and drive in 83 runs for the Rangers in 143 games.
Beltre is playing in his nineteenth major-league season for Texas, who is defending their 2015 National League West title. Beltre is 13-for-46 so far this season with two homers and nine RBIs for the Rangers.