Browsing Posts tagged Carlos Beltran

Lost in the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes, the A-Rod fiasco, and the optimistic Jacoby Ellsbury signing, the Yankees signed a future Hall of Famer to anchor the middle of their order. No one is talking about switch hitter Carlos Beltran, who quietly signed a three-year, $45 million in December. Among position players, Beltran is 90th in career WAR (64.1). Three solid seasons in the Bronx will vault him in the Top 50 ahead of future HOFer, Craig Biggio (68.1) and 2014 HOFer Frank Thomas (72.1). In 16 seasons, Beltran has 2,228 hits, 358 HRs, 308 SBs and boasts a .283/.359/.496 slash. To put his numbers in perspective, A-Rod is the only other active player with 300 HRs and 300 SBs.

As he enters his Age 37 season, Beltran’s days of double digit stolen bases are finished. However, Beltran’s power has not subsided. Beltran has clubbed at least 22 HRs over his last three seasons and hit at least .296 in two of those seasons. When we factor in Fangraph’s park factors, via Fangraphs, there’s an even bigger reason for optimism. Take a look at Table 1.

Table 1: Park Factors (Busch Stadium vs Yankee Stadium)

Season Team 1B as L 1B as R 2B as L 2B as R 3B as L 3B as R HR as L HR as R
2013 Yankees 101 99 98 97 103 86 114 106
2013 Cardinals 101 99 94 100 97 91 94 90

Higher ratings indicate a more hitter friendly park and when we consider home runs, Beltran gets a giant boost by playing half of his games at Yankee Stadium. For lefties, Yankee Stadium is the second most power hitter friendly park (Coors Field is first) while Busch Stadium ranks in the Bottom 10. For righties, Yankee Stadium is the seventh most friendly while Busch Stadium is in the Bottom 3. Beltran took 71 percent of his at-bats left-handed last season and hit 17 of his 24 homers from the left side.  Add in the luxury of the DH and Beltran should be a safe bet for 70-75 games at Yankee Stadium. Therefore, as long as he continues to receive 600+ plate appearances, Beltran should see a spike in home runs. 

In addition to a boost in park factors, Beltran will likely hit third and have more RBI opportunities than he did in St. Louis. Beltran hit second in St. Louis’ order and had the luxury of second baseman, Matt Carpenter (.396 on-base percentage) hitting in front of him. With the Yankees, Beltran will have Ellsbury (.355 OBP) and Derek Jeter (.362 OBP) hitting in front of him. Add in Brett Gardner (.352 OBP) when the line-up turns over and Beltran, who hit .374 with runners in scoring position last year, will have ample opportunities to drive in runs. Beltran should see a steady dose of fastballs with Alfonso Soriano and Brian McCann hitting behind him as well.

Defensively, Beltran will grade out as below average, but when you factor in two plus defenders in LF (Gardner) and CF (Ellsbury), it’ll off-set Beltran’s shortcomings. In addition, Beltran will like see a third of his at-bats as a DH and the Yankees can insert Ichiro Suzuki into RF during late game situations. His glove won’t kill the Yankees, but he was ultimately brought in for his offense. 

Based on these factors, I think Beltran has 30 HR, 100 RBI, .290+ batting average upside over 145 games. After reviewing some third-party projections, I think analysts are down on Beltran due the stigma surround his age (37) and ‘injury proneness’ (knee injuries in 2009 and 2010).  Table 2 has their projections and my projection:

Table 2: Beltran Projections

Season Site G PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
2011-13 Avg 146 606 26 80 88 6 0.288 0.357 0.504
2014 Steamer 122 530 21 68 73 4 0.277 0.343 0.473
2014 Oliver 143 600 23 75 86 3 0.279 0.341 0.471
2014 Fans (23) 129 562 24 76 81 4 0.283 0.345 0.484
2014 NYSOS 145 603 30 85 100 5 0.290 0.355 0.520

Overall, I’m surprised how down Steamer and Oliver are on their projections. Beltran has some major things (home park, lineup, situational advantages) working in his favor. While ‘trying hard’ and ‘determination’ are things that go overlooked, Beltran has always wanted to be a Yankee. Before signing with the Mets in 2005, Beltran was very open about joining the Yankees. At the time, the Yankees had a declining Bernie Williams manning center field and opted for a cheaper Johnny Damon (four-years, $52 million) instead of a more expensive Beltran (seven-years, $119 million). Beltran, who hails from Puerto Rico, grew up idolizing Puerto Rican star, Bernie Williams. Just from listening to his press conference, Beltran is ecstatic about donning pinstripes. 

While most Yankee fans are excited about Tanaka, McCann, and Ellsbury, expect Beltran to relish in a ‘secondary role’. Keep forgetting about him until April before watching him rake all summer long. 

For the first time in four years, the New York Mets opened their wallets and signed an impact free agent. Ex-Yankee Curtis Granderson and the Mets agreed to a four-year, $60 million contract that will occur during Granderson’s Age 33-36 seasons. This signing gives the Mets a power hitting corner outfielder that will help jump start the Met offense. Stop me if you’ve read something like this before.

Nearly four years ago, the Mets and left fielder, Jason Bay agreed to a four-year, $60 million contract. Prior to signing the contract, the 30-year-old Bay was coming off a huge season with the Boston Red Sox where he slugged 36 home runs and drove in 119 RBIs. Met fans were convinced that Bay and David Wright would bolster the middle of the Met batting order. However, Bay only appeared in 288 games as a Met and slugged 31 total home runs. This contract was a huge disappointment to say the least.

When assessing Granderson, a few red flags immediately come to mind:

  1. Park Changes: Granderson is leaving the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium for Citi Field. According to Fangraphs, Yankee Stadium boosts left-handed power numbers by 14 percent while Citi Field only boosts these numbers by one percent. Granderson does have three 30+ home run seasons under his belt including one with Detroit in 2009. Will the spacious Citi Field affect his power output? The park factors say ‘yes’.
  2. Injuries: After getting hit by a pitch in the wrist during Spring Training, Granderson missed months of action and never developed any sort of rhythm. Granderson played in a career low 61 games and only hit 7 home runs. The Mets must be convinced that his wrist injury is not longer an issue. However, he’s not coming off a monster season like Jason Bay was and he never found his stroke during 2013.
  3.  The Yankees: It’s pretty telling when a player’s previous team doesn’t make an offer. The Yankees have spent over $200 million on free agent outfielders not named Curtis Granderson. Hell, the Yankees signed Carlos Beltran, who is five years older than Granderson. Over the last few seasons, Granderson’s strikeout percentage has steadily increased while his on-base percentage is declining. This is not a recipe for success.

Despite his obvious flaws, Granderson has shown he’s athletic enough to play multiple outfield positions. Juan Lagares is slated to start in center field, so Granderson will likely man left field. Granderson isn’t much of a base stealer anymore, but he is one of the game’s most astute base runners. Like I noted in the Jacoby Ellsbury article, speed tends to age well and an athlete of Granderson’s caliber is less likely to hit the wall.

Heading into 2014, projections are calling for Granderson to net 2.5-to-3 wins. If we value a win at $7.0 million, Granderson’s projected value outweighs his $13 million salary. However, the Mets have backloaded his  contract so they’ll take on more risk in Years 3 and 4. On the surface, Granderson presents a tremendous upgrade for the Met outfield.  However, there are some obvious red flags that must be considered and monitored.

The Granderson signing gives ownership and Sandy Alderson an extra week or so to plan their next move. The Mets are still far from being a competitive team, but this signing provides some hope for the future of the team. Add in Granderson’s off-the-field impact and the Mets have the potential for a big time signing. As long as he’s healthy, Granderson won’t be Jason Bay 2.0.

On Friday evening, the Yankees and free agent right fielder, Carlos Beltran agreed to a three-year, $45 million contract. Beltran, who turns 37-years-old in April, has always wanted to don pinstripes and will immediately slide into right field. Beltran posted a very impressive 2013 campaign, belting 24 home runs while posting an impressive .296/.339/.491 line. Beltran has a reputation of being injury-prone, but he has played in at least 140 games in 12 of his 15 seasons. More recently, Beltran has averaged 146 games played over the last three seasons.

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Mets starter Jon Niese reported to yesterday’s camp with a whole new look.  He came in about 10 pounds lighter, but the real story is his new nose.  Yes, apparently Carlos Beltran decided to do the Mets one final favor, and offered to pay for Niese’s rhinoplasty over the offseason.

Carlos nose best... (AP/Adam Rubin)

 

It’s more than just for looks, too — according to the New York Post, Niese was told that his previously smushed nose had an abnormality in the sinus that was affecting his breathing.  Since being able to breathe seems like a rather important factor in being a successful pro athlete, could this signal a breakout season for the 25-year old lefty?  So far, his career stats are fairly pedestrian: a 22-23 record, with a 4.39 ERA, and a 1.46 WHIP.  Could improved breathing (and thus, better conditioning) + another year in the bigs + a year of Johan Santana’s tutelage (being a crafty lefty himself) = an anchor in the Mets’ rotation?

 

The New York Mets were defeated by the Philadelphia Phillies 9-4 on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park. Before the Mets could blink, the Phillies had a dominating 9-0 lead. Jonathon Niese turned in his worst outing of the season, allowing eight runs on ten hits and one walk through only four innings of work. The Mets offense came alive late in the game, but it was far too late to make considerable damage. The loss takes them to a putrid 60-68 record as they slip closer to last place in the NL East.

Niese is having a rough go as of late.

Getty Images

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The New York Mets defeated the Washington Nationals in an 8-5 victory on Friday night at Nationals Park. The Mets offense put up a four spot in the 1st inning and scattered twelve hits in the game. Dillon Gee pitched 6 2/3 innings allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits and four walks while striking out five. The bullpen held on to hand the Mets a five-game winning streak.

These guys just keep on rollin'.

Associated Press

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The New York Mets have worked out a deal on Wednesday to send RF Carlos Beltran to the San Francisco Giants for 21-year old pitching prospect Zack Wheeler and cash considerations. Rumors surfaced all throughout the afternoon as to who the Mets were going to get in return for the two-month rental. Originally, outfielder Gary Brown was speculated as the centerpiece of the deal but later discovered otherwise. The San Francisco Giants are said to have picked up about $2 million of the $6 million left on his contract. Below are Zack Wheeler’s stats for the 2011 season.

This young stud arm, Zack Wheeler, should be wearing blue and orange fairly soon.

Associated Press

 

 Year IP Wins Losses ERA Hits BBs Ks
2011 88 7 5 3.99 74 47 98


As you can see, Wheeler has an enormous strikeout rate at a 10.02 K/9. His walk rates, however, for a guy at the Class A level is less than stellar, walking almost five batters per nine innings. The best thing Mets fans could hope for is that with further seasoning he can work on mitigating his control issues.

In my opinion, Sandy Alderson did a terrific job with this deal. It is a win regardless of how Zack Wheeler develops, but it’d be nice to see him turn into a top-of-the-rotation starter. The trade isn’t official until Thursday afternoon, due to the 24-hour window Carlos Beltran has to decline a team with his no-trade clause. However, the trade is basically official as Beltran has said he would accept a move to the Giants, who are en route to the playoffs.

How do you feel about this trade? Should the Mets have gone after Gary Brown instead?

Gaby Sanchez hit homers in back to back innings, and the Marlins took the middle game of the series.  The Mets fall to an even 50-50 with the loss.

Starters Clay Hensley and Chris Capuano swapped zeros until the 5th inning.  Then, the Mets were finally able to break through against Hensley, who had been dominating them as of late.  With 2 outs in the inning (when all their rallies seemingly get started), Jose Reyes got things started with an infield single.  After Justin Turner and Carlos Beltran walked to load the bases, David Wright smacked a 2-run single through the left side to give the Mets a 2-0 lead.

It all fell apart for Cap in the 6th inning, though.  4 Marlins crossed the plate, including home runs by Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison.  D.J. Carrasco didn’t fare much better in the next inning — he allowed 3 runs, including Sanchez’s second home run.  While the Mets would smack 2 solo shots in the 9th, the deficit would be too much to overcome.

(Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)

 

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The New York Mets failed to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals, as they took a 6-2 loss in one of the shortest games of the season. Albert Pujols set the tone for the game with a quick two-run shot to left field in the 1st inning off Jonathon Niese. A messy 5th put the game away for good. The Mets had six base runners all game and never really posed a threat to rally. 

Niese had a couple of bad innings.

Associated Press

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With Jose Reyes back in the lineup, the New York Mets downed the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 at CitiField Tuesday night. Carlos Beltran had a perfect night, reaching base on five occasions. Dillon Gee turned in seven solid innings to earn his ninth win of the season. The Mets have worked their way back to .500 again for the season as they look to put together a winning streak before the trade deadline.

It's nice to have this guy back in the lineup. Dreadlocks and all...

Getty Images

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