At 36 years old, Carlos Beltran cannot be relied upon as an everyday player for the New York Yankees. When healthy, Beltran is still one of the premier hitters in the game (averaging 28 HR and 104 RBI a season). However, arthritic knees have hobbled the center fielder since his time with the New York Mets, making him a risky acquisition for the Bronx Bombers. In order for Beltran’s three-year $45 million contract to pay off for Brian Cashman and the Yankees, Carlos simply needs to be healthy for the playoffs.
Based on Beltran’s statistics in October, it can be argued that he is one of the greatest postseason hitters baseball has ever seen. The slugger has posted a .333 batting average with 16 homers and 40 RBI in just 50 career postseason games. To put these numbers in perspective, Pete Rose had a .321 BA with just 5 HR and 22 RBI in 67 postseason games. Babe Ruth had a .326 BA with 15 HR and 33 RBI in 41 postseason games. And George Brett had a .337 BA, 10 HR, and 23 RBI in 43 games in October.
Beltran’s bat will add consistency to a Yankees team that has struggled in recent playoffs. Since winning the World Series in 2009, the Yankees’ hitters have been putrid in the postseason. In 2012, the Yankees set a record for lowest team batting average in postseason history at just .188. That team also averaged just 1.5 runs per game in the American League Championship Series. Needless to say, Carlos Beltran’s postseason prowess will be a welcomed addition to the Bombers’ lineup.
It is unrealistic to expect Beltran to play in all 162 games this season. It may even be a stretch to expect the veteran outfielder to play in over 150 games. However, as long as Beltran is given a chance to perform in October, this deal may be just what the Yankees needed to get back to the World Series in 2014.