There is a new Mr. October. His name is Carlos Beltran.
Beltran almost single-handedly won Game 1 of the NLCS for the St. Louis Cardinals, driving in all three runs and even saving a run by gunning down a man at the plate to rob the Los Angeles Dodgers of a lead.
Beltran simply lives for October. His numbers in playoff baseball are astounding. He has a .345 career batting average, a .445 on base percentage, a .750 slugging percentage and a staggering 1.199 OPS. His OPS is the third-highest postseason OPS in baseball history behind baseball legends Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Beltran still has a chance to pass these men in that category with a solid postseason.
In the active era, no one does it better than Beltran in the postseason. Beltran is a free agent at the end of the year. He has been a huge part of the Cardinals’ back to back NLCS berths. Even more important than his role getting to the big dance is how he performs on the big stage.
Simply put, he is their most clutch performer. When the Cardinals need a big hit or a momentum-changing play, Beltran is the man they call on and he delivers more often than not. It would be hard to imagine that they would let a player like him go, but with many teams looking for an outfielder including his former team, the New York Mets, the bidding war might be too rich for the Cardinals’ blood.
That is a discussion for the future. In this month, it is all about Beltran. He is Mr. October.