Seidler: The two Beltrans

From Jarrett Seidler at Baseball Prospectus on November 21, 2017:

They said he didn’t try hard enough. They called him a bad teammate. They called him an underachiever. They even questioned his moral compass. The owner of the New York Mets, the team for whom he played his very best baseball, the team which probably should be displayed on his Hall of Fame plaque cap, called himself a schmuck for signing Carlos Beltran.

If you tuned into baseball in the last five or six years, the Beltran you know is an itinerant corner bat and DH, a consistent force in the middle of lineups often lauded for veteran leadership, reviving baseball in Puerto Rico, and playing the game the right way. He’s the very model of an older star player. This is the Carlos Beltran who won the Roberto Clemente Award in 2013, one of baseball’s highest honors, presented to the player who “best represents the game of baseball through sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions, both on and off the field.” This is the gregarious leader who has mentored countless players from his native Puerto Rico and beyond, who spent millions of his dollars of his own money to build the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy as a prep school for underprivileged Puerto Rican kids who want to play baseball. This is the Carlos Beltran who kicked off a Hurricane Maria fundraising drive by donating another million out of his own bank account. This is the Carlos Beltran known for intense preparation and video study, the guy that can pick up tells on the baseball field like Daniel Negreanu can at a poker table.

If your memory spans back another decade, you remember the first career of Carlos Beltran, where he was one of the best players in the game. Except for a lot of really dumb reasons, so many of us couldn’t see it.

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Originally published: November 21, 2017. Last Updated: November 21, 2017.