I think most Met fans will acknowledge that our most talented player is Carlos Beltran. As we always here, he is a five tool player. Lets be honest he is not known to be just a home run hitter but he owns the Mets single season record for homers. Beltran is a very underappreciated player on this team but this team can only go as far as the core goes and I think Met fans were able to see the true value of Beltran last season when he was absent and the team went right off the deep end.
Beltran was also a big time volleyball player in his native of Puerto Rico but was convinced to quit playing by his father to concentrate on baseball. Carlos ended up becoming a second round pick of the Royals out of high school. Beltran came up in 1998 and became the clubs #3 hitter in his 1999 Rookie of the Year campaign in which he hit .293 with 22 HR’s, 108 RBI and 27 SB’s.
Beltran struggled with injuries and was replaced by Johnny Damon in 2000, however after Damon was dealt to Oakland, Beltran regained his spot and has a stellar 2001 season, Beltran also put up consistant seasons in ’02 and ’03. As free agency loomed, Beltran was dealt to the Astros for the pennant race in 2004. Beltran followed with one of the best postseasons ever as he mashed 8 HR’s to tie Barry Bonds for the All-time record. Beltran hit his stride just in time for a free agent windfall.
The Mets were coming off 4 losing seasons and the Wilpon’s finally opened up the piggybank for new GM Omar Minaya. Minaya signed Pedro Martinez to pair up with youngsters David Wright and Jose Reyes. Beltran finally came on board after the Yankees declined to give him as much money. Beltran finally signed for 7-years and 119 million. Beltran had a poor 2005 season as compared to his salary and Met fans let him know about it.
Early in ’06 when Beltran hit a home run to take the lead, he had to be pryed out of the dugout by Julio Franco to take a curtain call. He was affected by the crowd’s distaste for him in ’05. Beltran did play hurt in ’05 and came back early from a concussion when Mike Cameron never came back. I think some of the negatives come with making $20 mill and had to say I was disappointed that Beltran showed his distain to the fans.
Beltran moved past this incident and has a great 2006 season, he had 41 bombs and many clutch moments but most Met fans still blame him for game 7’s called strike three. I don’t, I blame the manager, if he played small ball Beltran would not have been in that position. Going to Floyd to hit a homer, basically left Beltran having to do the same thing. With the way Wainwright was pitching, having to hit a homer was a mighty tall order.
Beltran continued to have great seasons in ’07 and ’08 and was one the guys who did not completely fade down the stretch. Beltran’s homer to tie the last game art Shea, once again showed how Carlos was clutch and always could handle the big moment. Beltran’s knees caught up to him in 2009 and the Mets completely faded without him, once again proving what a valuable member he is to the team. This season we are all counting the days until Carlos can come back and help this team because Met fans have learned without him we don’t have much of a shot but with him anything could be possible for old numer #15! I think Beltran has some things in his past that might make you not like him, big salary, wanted to sign with Yanks, called strike 3, injures but face it Met fans his is a Met and we need him big time if we are ever going to make it back to the promised land, so cheer him and lets go ‘Los!!!!