Beltrán in 2016
|Born: April 24, 1977|
Manatí, Puerto Rico
|September 14, 1998, for the Kansas City Royals|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 1, 2017, for the Houston Astros|
|Runs batted in||1,587|
|Career highlights and awards|
Carlos Iván Beltrán (Spanish pronunciation: ['ka?loz ?el't?an]; born April 24, 1977) is a Puerto Rican former professional baseball outfielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1998 to 2017 for the Kansas City Royals, Houston Astros, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, and Texas Rangers. A right-handed thrower and switch hitter, Beltrán stands 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighs 215 pounds (98 kg).
Beltrán was the American League (AL) Rookie of the Year in 1999 while with the Royals. He was named to nine MLB All-Star Games, and won three Gold Glove Awards and two Silver Slugger Awards. Beltrán was the fifth player to reach both 400 home runs and 300 stolen bases and just the fourth switch hitter with 400 home runs. He has the highest success rate in stealing bases (88.3%) of any major league player with 300 or more career attempts. He also joined the 30-30 club in 2004. Beltrán retired after the 2017 season, winning a World Series title with the Houston Astros.
Beltrán was among the best all-time statistical hitters in postseason games, which has earned him nicknames such as "The New Mr. October", "Mr. October, Jr.", "Señor Octubre", and "the real Mr. October" from the media.
During the 2017 Astros championship season, Beltrán was the alleged leader in their illegal sign stealing scheme. The scandal broke three years later after an investigation by league officials, the commissioner and the media. Beltrán, who had recently been hired as the Mets manager, left his new job without managing a game.
In his youth, Beltrán excelled in many sports, with volleyball and baseball being his favorites. At his father's urging, he gave up volleyball to concentrate on baseball when he was seventeen. He was originally a shortstop before moving to the outfield. He graduated from Fernando Callejo High School in 1995.
The Kansas City Royals selected Beltrán in the second round of the 1995 Major League Baseball draft. After he signed, the Royals assigned him to the Gulf Coast Royals of the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. Originally only hitting right-handed, he batted .276 with no home runs. During the off season, Beltrán taught himself to hit left-handed, with advice from New York Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams and Royals minor league coach Kevin Long. In 1996, he played for the Spokane Indians of the Class A-Short Season Northwest League, and the Lansing Lugnuts of the Class A Midwest League. In 1997 he spent the entire season playing for the Wilmington Blue Rocks of the Class A-Advanced Carolina League. He began the 1998 season with Wilmington, and received a promotion to the Wichita Wranglers of the Class AA Texas League.
Beltrán made his major league debut on September 14, 1998, playing 15 games. Unlike many players, he never played in Triple-A. In 14 games of the 1998 baseball year, Beltrán got 16 hits, 5 doubles, 3 triples, and 7 RBIs with a .276 batting average during his time in the majors.
By 1999, he won the job as the Royals' starting center fielder and leadoff hitter. He displayed significant power by midsummer, and was moved to the #3 slot in the batting order. Beltrán won the American League Rookie of the Year award, batting .293 with 22 home runs, 108 runs batted in (RBIs) and 27 stolen bases in 156 games played. On September 27, 1999, Beltrán made the final out at Tiger Stadium, striking out against relief pitcher Todd Jones as the Detroit Tigers beat the Royals 8-2.
Injuries restricted Beltrán to 98 games during the 2000 season and he slumped to .247, losing his center field position to the popular Johnny Damon. After Damon was traded to the Oakland Athletics following the season, Beltrán regained his job in 2001 and recaptured his rookie form. He batted .306 with 24 home runs and 101 RBIs in that season, followed by lines of .273-29-105 in 2002 and .307-26-100 in 2003.
In the first 69 games of the 2004 season, Beltrán batted .278 with 15 homers, 51 RBI, and 14 stolen bases. Playing for a small market club and represented by agent Scott Boras, Beltrán endured trade rumors through the 2003 and 2004 seasons. As the end of his contract neared, the two sides failed to negotiate a long-term deal. Following an interleague doubleheader loss to the last-place Montreal Expos, Royals' general manager Allard Baird informed reporters that he was preparing to dismantle the team and rebuild it for the 2005 season.
On June 24, 2004, the Royals traded Beltrán to the Houston Astros in a three-team deal, which also sent relief pitcher Octavio Dotel from the Astros to the Oakland Athletics, while the Royals picked up Oakland minor leaguers (pitcher Mike Wood and third-baseman Mark Teahen) and Astros' catcher John Buck.
While still a Royal, Beltrán had been selected as an AL starting outfielder for the 2004 All-Star Game. After being traded to the Astros, Beltrán was ruled ineligible for the AL roster and was not listed on the NL roster. However, after NL starter Ken Griffey, Jr., went on the disabled list, Beltrán was named his substitute.
For the rest of the 2004 season with the Astros, Beltrán played 90 games, batting .258 with 23 home runs, 53 RBI, and 28 stolen bases. Overall in 2004 combined with both teams he played for, Beltrán played 159 games with a .267 batting average, 38 home runs, 42 stolen bases, 104 RBI, and 121 runs scored.
In the 2004 playoffs, Beltrán tied Barry Bonds' single post-season record with eight home runs. He hit one in each of the first four games of the National League Championship Series (NLCS) against the St. Louis Cardinals, including the game-winner in Game 4. Counting his two home-run performance in Game 5 of the previous playoff round in the National League Division Series (NLDS) against the Atlanta Braves, Beltrán clubbed at least one home run in a record-setting five consecutive postseason games, outnumbered only by Daniel Murphy's home runs in six consecutive postseason games in 2015. In 12 games in the 2004 playoffs, Beltrán batted .435 with 14 RBIs and 21 runs scored.
Following the 2004 season, Beltrán became a free agent. The New York Yankees were tipped as favorites and Beltrán allegedly offered them a $19 million discount. The Yankees declined and the crosstown New York Mets signed him to a seven-year, $119-million contract, the biggest in franchise history at the time. It became the tenth contract in baseball history to surpass $100 million.
On August 11, 2005, in a game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park, Beltrán was seriously injured after colliding head-to-head with fellow Mets outfielder Mike Cameron when both were diving to catch a ball in shallow right center field. Cameron missed the rest of the season with a concussion, temporary loss of vision, and two broken cheekbones. Beltrán suffered vertigo for a while, although both players eventually recovered.
A quadriceps injury bothered him most of the 2005 season and limited his speed. In 582 at bats, Beltrán's stats included career lows in batting average (.266), home runs (16), RBIs (78), runs scored (83), and stolen bases (17). Despite the limited participation, he was still voted to his second All-Star team.
Beltrán played for Puerto Rico in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, joining Carlos Delgado, Bernie Williams, Javier Vázquez, Iván Rodríguez and others on the team managed by St. Louis Cardinals third base coach José Oquendo. His 2006 season was an upgrade on his first year in New York. Boosted by 10 home runs in May, he surpassed his home run total from the previous year before the season was half over. Beltrán's performance secured him a spot in the 2006 All-Star Game, his third. Five other Mets joined him, including three as starters. Beltrán was a standout for the NL as the only batter with multiple hits, along with two stolen bases. He scored the go-ahead run that gave the National League a 2-1 lead in the third inning, though the American League won the game. He hit grand slams in consecutive games on July 16 and 18, becoming the 23rd player to do so. Another grand slam at the end of July made him only the third Met to hit three in one season. Beltrán continued to produce with a walk-off home run against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 22, off Cardinals closer Jason Isringhausen. It was Beltrán's second walk-off of the season, following a 16th-inning gamewinner against the Phillies.
Beltrán's 41 home runs tied the Mets' single season record for homers, matching Todd Hundley's total in 1996. (This record was broken by Pete Alonso in 2019.) His 127 runs scored gave him sole possession of the Mets' single season franchise mark. He and teammate José Reyes won the Silver Slugger Award at their respective positions. He also tied for the major league lead in times reached base on an error (13).
Beltrán's defense was also recognized during the 2006 season, as he received his first Gold Glove award. He made only two errors in 372 chances to give him a .995 fielding percentage, and recorded 13 outfield assists and six double plays. He also won a Fielding Bible Award as the top fielding center fielder in MLB. Beltrán came fourth in the National League MVP award voting, behind winner Ryan Howard, Albert Pujols, and Lance Berkman. Returning to the playoffs, Beltrán hit three home runs in the NLCS, bringing his career playoff total to 11 home runs in 22 games. However, with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning of Game 7 of the NLCS against the Cardinals, Beltrán struck out looking against Adam Wainwright, ending the New York Mets season.
In 2007, Beltrán hit below .230 from May to July. However, he improved in August and September, finishing with a .276 batting average and 112 RBIs. In July, he made his fourth All-Star Game appearance and upon the conclusion of the season, won his second straight Gold Glove award.
In 2008, Beltrán batted .284 with 27 home runs and 112 RBI. In the final game before the All-Star game, Beltrán hit his 15th home run of the season. On August 29, Beltrán collected all five RBIs for the Mets including a grand slam with two outs in the 9th to give the Mets a 5-2 lead. The Mets won this game 5-4. Beltrán hit the last and only Mets home run in the final regular season game at Shea Stadium (the last home run was by Dan Uggla). The home run was a two-run shot that tied the game 2-2 against the Florida Marlins. Beltrán won his third straight Gold Glove award in the outfield for the Mets. He also won his second Fielding Bible Award as the top MLB center fielder in 2008.
On January 13, 2010, Beltrán had surgery on his knee and was originally expected to miss 8-12 weeks. The procedure was performed by Beltrán's personal physician Dr. Richard Steadman. The Mets stated that the surgery was done without their consent, and the team expressed their disappointment with Beltrán's decision. However, Beltrán's agent, Scott Boras, claimed that the Mets consented to the procedure. Beltrán played his first game of the 2010 season on July 15.
Due to his declining defense, in 2011, Beltrán was moved from center field to right field. On May 12, 2011, playing against the Colorado Rockies, Beltrán hit three two-run home runs in a 9-5 Mets' victory. It was the first three-home run game of his career, and he became only the eighth Mets hitter in history to hit three home runs in a single game.
On July 28, 2011, after he waived his no-trade clause, the Mets traded Beltrán to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for pitching prospect Zack Wheeler. The Mets also sent $4 million cash to the Giants to cover Beltrán's remaining $6.5 million contract, which expired at the end of the 2011 season.
The day after the trade, Beltrán got his first hit with the Giants (an RBI single to left field in the first inning), going 1-for-5 while playing right field against the Cincinnati Reds. The Giants eventually lost to the Reds 4-3 in thirteen innings.
On September 14, Beltrán hit two solo home runs against San Diego Padres' starting pitcher Mat Latos. The shot gave him 20 home runs for the season and 300 for his career. Prior to this game, Beltrán had never hit against Latos. Both home runs were hit to the right side of the field with Beltrán batting from the left side. The 299th hit the arcade, and the 300th landed in McCovey Cove which increased the "Splash Hit" count to 59. Both home runs proved to be crucial, as the Giants swept the Padres in a 3-game series, with a score of 3-1. His home runs in the series accounted for 4 out of the 14 runs.
For the rest of the 2011 season with the Giants, Beltrán played 44 games batting .323 with 7 home runs and 18 RBI. Overall in 2011 combined with both teams he played for, Beltrán played 142 total games batting .300 with 22 home runs and 84 RBI.
On December 22, 2011, Beltrán agreed to a two-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals worth $26 million which included a full no-trade clause. After Beltrán signed with the Cardinals, he attained numerous milestones, personal as well other firsts.
On April 4, 2012 Opening Day, Beltrán recorded the first-ever hit in a regular season game at Marlins Park against Josh Johnson of the Miami Marlins. Beltrán was named NL Player of the Week on May 14 after he hit .360 (9-for-25) with six home runs, 13 RBIs, eight runs, 30 total bases for a 1.200 slugging percentage and 1.648 OPS in the previous six games. He hit safely in five of the six games and homered in four of them. It was his ninth career weekly award, and sixth in the NL.
On June 1, in his first game in New York after leaving the Mets, the crowd gave him a standing ovation. In one notable moment, a Beltrán batted ball touched the outside part of the foul line but was ruled a foul ball in a game in which former teammate, Johan Santana, was credited with throwing the first no-hitter in Mets' history. Two weeks later, on June 15, while batting against another former team in the Kansas City Royals, Beltrán stole second base in the second inning to become the first switch-hitter in MLB history to attain 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases, and the eighth player overall.
In a June 29 home game versus the Pittsburgh Pirates, he recorded a single in the third inning for his 2,000th hit, becoming the 270th player in MLB history to do so. The day after he got his 2,000th hit, Beltrán collected his 400th double, becoming the 170th player to do so. Beltrán also participated in that year's Home Run Derby.
The Mets announced on June 18, 2012, that Beltrán was selected as the starting center fielder for 50th Anniversary Mets All-Time Team.
In the 2012 National League Wild Card Game, his first postseason game since 2006, Beltrán had 1 hit in 4 at-bats, scoring a run in the 4th inning. In the NLDS against the Nationals, Beltrán went 8-18 at the plate with 2 home runs and 4 RBI. Down 5-7 in the 9th inning in game 5 of the NLDS, Beltrán hit a leadoff double off of Drew Storen, eventually scoring two outs later on a Daniel Descalso single. The Cardinals would win the game 9-7.
In the 2012 National League Championship Series, Beltrán batted .300 with 2 RBI and 2 stolen bases. He played in 6 of the 7 games in the series, missing most of game 3 and all of game 4 after suffering a knee injury. Playing in his 3rd NLCS game 7 in his career, Beltrán went 1-4 at the plate as the Cardinals lost 0-9 to the Giants.
In 2013, Beltrán played in 145 games with a .296 batting average, 24 home runs and 84 RBI. Beltrán played in his 2,000th game on July 11, 2013. That same month, he was selected to his third straight All-Star Game. In October, Beltrán was the recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award, becoming the fourth Cardinals player to win it, joining Albert Pujols, Ozzie Smith, and Lou Brock.
In the 2013 National League Division Series against the Pirates, Beltrán had 4 hits in 18 at-bats, hitting 2 home runs and 6 RBI in the series. In game 1 of the 2013 National League Championship Series against the Dodgers, Beltrán hit a double at the bottom of the 3rd inning to tie the game 2-2. At the top of the 10th inning, with the game still tied 2-2, Beltrán threw out Mark Ellis at the plate after catching a fly ball, completing a double-play that prevented the Dodgers from taking the lead. At the bottom of the 13th inning, Beltrán hit a walk-off single off of Kenley Jansen, giving the Cardinals a 3-2 victory. For the whole NLCS, Beltrán had 6 hits and 6 RBI in 21 at-bats. The Cardinals won the series 4-2, and Beltrán advanced to the first World Series in his career.
In game 1 of the 2013 World Series against the Red Sox, Beltrán injured his ribs in the 2nd inning after robbing David Ortiz of a grand slam. Despite the injury, Beltrán would play in all 6 games of the series, batting .294 with 5 hits and 3 RBI as the Cardinals fell to the Red Sox four games to two.
Beltrán filed for free agency after the World Series ended on October 30. On November 9, Beltrán declined a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals, making him a free agent.
On December 6, 2013, Beltrán agreed to a three-year, $45 million deal to join the New York Yankees, despite receiving a $48 million offer from another team. The deal became official on December 19, 2013.
On April 13, 2014, Beltrán played at first base for the first time in his professional career after Francisco Cervelli left the game due to a hamstring injury. On the night of May 12, 2014, Beltrán experienced soreness in his right elbow. It was revealed that the elbow had a bone spur and was immediately given a cortisone shot. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 15, 2014. He was activated on June 5, 2014. To prevent any further damage to the elbow, he was used primarily as a designated hitter for the remainder of the season.
On September 16, 2014, Beltrán left the team for an indefinite period of time due to his wife's miscarriage. Limited to 109 games in 2014, Beltrán batted .233 with 15 home runs and 49 RBI. On October 1, 2014, he underwent surgery to remove loose pieces and a bone spur in his right elbow, which required 12 weeks to recover. The procedure was performed by Yankees head team physician, Dr. Christopher Ahmad.
Beltrán got off to a slow start in 2015, batting around .200 through April. He slowly improved throughout the season and in September had a batting average over .280. On July 3, Beltrán was placed on the 15-day disabled list with an oblique injury. He was activated on July 19. On August 14 against the Blue Jays, Beltrán hit a pinch-hit go-ahead 3-run home run in the 8th inning. It proved to be the game winner and temporarily put the Yankees back in 1st place. He reached 500 career doubles on August 31 against the Boston Red Sox. Beltrán ended the regular season with 19 home runs, 67 RBIs and a .276 average in 133 games.
On April 25, 2016, Beltrán became the 84th player to make 10,000 career plate appearances. He collected his 2,473rd career hit on April 27 against the Texas Rangers to pass Ted Simmons for tenth place on the all-time list for switch-hitters. Beltrán hit his 400th career home run against the Chicago White Sox on May 15, the 54th player in MLB history to do, fourth switch hitter, the third Puerto Rican-born player, and the fifth to do so with 300 stolen bases and 500 doubles. On May 28, Beltrán homered for his 2,500th career hit off Matt Moore of the Tampa Bay Rays, joining Roberto Clemente, Ivan Rodriguez and Roberto Alomar as just the fourth Puerto Rican-born player to reach the milestone, and the 99th player overall to reach 2,500 hits. He became the fourth player, after Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds and Willie Mays, to reach 2,500 hits, 400 homers, 300 stolen bases and 1,000 walks.
On June 7, Beltrán became the 38th player all time to record 1,000 career extra base hits. He was selected to his ninth All-Star Game at Petco Park in San Diego. In a 5-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox on July 15, he became the 55th player, and fourth switch-hitter, to reach 1,500 RBIs for his career. In 99 games with the Yankees, Beltrán batted .304 with 22 home runs and 64 RBIs.
On August 1, 2016, the Yankees traded Beltrán to the Texas Rangers for prospects Dillon Tate, Erik Swanson, and Nick Green. Beltrán hit his first home run for Texas on August 3 against Baltimore, also scoring his 1,500th run on the play. Towards the end of the season, Beltrán stated that he had "no plans to retire", in contrast to his statements before the season. Beltrán ended the season with a .295 average, 29 home runs and 93 RBIs in 151 games between the Yankees and Rangers.
On December 3, 2016, Beltrán signed a one-year, $16 million contract to return to the Houston Astros for the 2017 season as their designated hitter. On July 17, after not having played in the field in two months, his teammates held a mock funeral for his glove.
The Astros won 101 games and clinched the AL West division title, marking the second time in franchise history they won at least 100 games. They faced the Boston Red Sox in the best-of-five ALDS. In Game 4 on October 9, Beltrán hit a ninth-inning RBI double that proved to be the deciding run in a 5-4 victory that clinched the ALDS for the Astros.
The Astros overcame one of Beltrán's former teams, the Yankees, in the ALCS in seven games. As the Astros advanced to the World Series, it was the second of Beltrán's career, where they opposed the Los Angeles Dodgers. During the series, Beltrán registered three plate appearances over three games, going 0-3. The Astros defeated the Dodgers in seven games, making Beltrán a World Series champion. Beltrán announced his retirement from playing on November 13, 2017.
Three years later, it was revealed in the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal that the Astros had broken MLB rules during the 2017 season. According to his Astros teammates, Beltrán was the leader in a sign stealing scheme that involved banging on trash cans during at-bats. He intimidated teammates to go along even though some of them did not want to.
When the scandal broke, Beltrán publicly denied that the Astros had stolen signs illegally. However, MLB later confirmed that the Astros had stolen signs illegally and handed out punishments to the team; Beltrán was the only player named in the commissioner's report. Beltrán then apologized for his role in the scandal.
In 2,586 games over 20 seasons, Beltrán posted a .279 batting average (2,725-for-9,768) with 1,582 runs, 565 doubles, 78 triples, 435 home runs, 1587 RBI, 312 stolen bases, 1,084 bases on balls, .350 on-base percentage and .486 slugging percentage. He finished his career with a .986 fielding percentage playing primarily at center and right field. In 65 postseason games, Beltrán batted .307 (66-for-215) with 45 runs, 15 doubles, 16 home runs, 42 RBI, 11 stolen bases and 37 walks. He broke the 1.000 OPS mark in four different playoff series. Beltrán also had a 100% stolen base percentage (11-for-11) during the playoffs, which are the most stolen bases without being caught.
Beltrán has appeared in the four editions of the World Baseball Classic (2006, 2009, 2013, 2017) for Team Puerto Rico. In the 2017 World Baseball Classic, he batted 4th in the lineup as their designated hitter. Following the conclusion of the tournament, which was won by United States upon beating Puerto Rico in the final, Beltrán was named to the 2017 All-World Baseball Classic team.
Following the 2017 season, the New York Yankees' managerial position became available, for which Beltrán interviewed. The Yankees eventually selected Aaron Boone to be manager. In December 2018, the Yankees hired Beltrán as a special adviser to general manager Brian Cashman.
On November 1, 2019, the Mets hired Beltrán as their manager to replace Mickey Callaway, signing him to a three-year contract with a club option for a fourth year. However, on January 16, 2020, before Beltrán ever managed a game, he and the Mets mutually agreed to part ways after he was the only then-player called out by name for his role in the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal. It is one of the few known instances in MLB's history that a manager has been forced out before ever managing a regular season game.
Beltrán and his wife Jessica have two daughters and one son. Beltrán's cousin Rey Fuentes is also a baseball player and also played for the Royals. A nephew, Matthew Lugo, was drafted by the Red Sox in 2019.
Beltrán is a Christian. While sliding into second base for his 300th steal, joining the 300-300 club on June 15, 2012, a cross necklace popped out of his jersey, and after the game, he told a reporter that "all the glory" was God's. In 2004, Beltrán was one of 24 athletes who endorsed George W. Bush's reelection campaign.
Since establishing his foundation, Beltrán began a fund with part of his salary, intending to establish a high school focused on developing young athletes. Construction of the Carlos Beltrán Baseball Academy began in 2009, in the municipality of Florida, Puerto Rico. Beltrán donated over $4 million to the academy, built on 20 acres (81,000 m2) of land donated by the local government. The school opened in 2011, and graduated its first class in June 2013. It accepts students between the ages of 14 to 18 years, with a curriculum that includes instruction by MLB players.
|Act of honor bestowed||Dates||Ref|
|50th Anniversary All-Time Mets Team Starting Centerfielder||2012|||
|Name of award||Times||Dates||Ref|
|American League Rookie of the Year||1||1999|
|Baseball America Rookie of the Year||1||1999|
|Fielding Bible Award at center field||2||2006, 2008|
|Kansas City Royals Player of the Year||2||2001, 2003|||
|Major League Baseball All-Star||9||2004-07, 2009, 2011-13, 2016|||
|Major League Baseball Player of the Month Award||1||April 2004|
|Major League Baseball Player of the Week Award||10|
|Players Choice Awards for Outstanding Rookie||1||1999|||
|Rawlings Gold Glove Award at outfield||3||2006-08|
|Roberto Clemente Award||1||2013|
|Silver Slugger Award at outfield||2||2006, 2007|
|The Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award||1||1999|
In the bottom of the seventh, with one out and the game tied 5-5, Beltrán dipped down like a golfer and scooped a 2-and-2 slider from St. Louis righthander Julián Tavárez into the right-centerfield bullpen. It was a record fifth straight postseason game in which Beltrán hit a home run. 'The ump was reaching back to get another ball,' says Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell, who was watching from the on-deck circle, 'because that [pitch] was in the dirt.'
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|Awards and achievements|
| Baseball America Rookie of the Year
| Players Choice AL Most Outstanding Rookie
| American League Player of the Month