As baseball tries to get past the steroid era, they will have another era upon them with the era of players who played in the steroid era but were tested and suspended if caught. One player who played during that era and makes an interesting Hall of Fame case is New York Yankees outfielder Carlos Beltran.
It is hard not to give the man credit for what he was able to accomplish from 2004-2008. The postseason he had in 2004 with the Houston Astros is one baseball will cherish for a lifetime. The New York Mets played in one of the most exciting NLCS to date with it all coming down to the ninth inning in game seven. They would not have been in that situation if not for Beltran, who unfortunately gets the unfair blame for the series loss when he struck out on three pitches, the last being a nasty curveball from then rookie Adam Wainwright.
When fans think of Hall of Fame, they think of players who were the best at what they did for ten-plus seasons. Beltran did not do that for his entire career due to lingering injuries in his knees. He was undeniably a lot of entertainment every night. The man was a five-tool caliber player, and fans tuned in to see what he was going to do against the opposition. However, the numbers do not say he is Hall of Fame worthy — yet.
His numbers so far are on pace for being in the Hall of Fame, though. Being 37 years of age and now looking at a long-term stint on the disabled list, it is not getting easier for the outfielder to build his case much higher. But the case is not closed. After signing a three-year deal with the Yankees, he does have a chance to win his first World Series and is very likely to get over 2,500 career hits, 400 home runs and 1,500 RBI. His stolen base numbers are worth looking at too.
If Beltran were to finish his career with those offensive numbers, expect to see a plaque with his name on it in Cooperstown. With or without the ring, those numbers are resembled by Hall of Fame players Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray as well as sure future inductee Chipper Jones.