Carlos Beltran appeared in 20 MLB seasons stretching from 1998 through 2017. In that time, he appeared in games for the Kansas City Royals, the Houston Astros (twice), the New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, and Texas Rangers. While he never stuck with one team for most of his career, he is definitely deserving of a spot in Cooperstown.
Beltran ended his career as a career .279/.350/.486 batter. He had a 119 OPS+ and ended up accumulating a lot of impressive numbers.Beltran is in some pretty elite company. There are just two other players who logged at least half of their games up the middle with 2700+ hits and 400+ home runs. That’s Ken Griffey Jr. and Willie Mays.
The switch-hitter was a great power/speed threat, going yard 435 times with 312 stolen bases. Willie Mays is the only other primary center fielder with 400+ dingers and 300+ steals. Beltran also has a long history of Postseason success. He has 16 home runs in the playoffs with an OPS over 1.000 in 256 plate appearances.
Beltran ended his career with +70.1 bWAR, something only eight center fielders have achieved in their careers. Nearly every single player with 70+ bWAR is in the Hall of Fame. The ones who aren’t are either heavily connected to steroids or are still active.
Even though he is highly suspected of being the mastermind behind the Astros’ cheating scandal, it happened back in 2017, six years ago. That doesn’t excuse the actions of the Astros, but it’s not even 100% confirmed that Beltran was the mastermind behind the scandal, as it was suspected that a “veteran player” was behind it. It could have been Brian McCann, Marwin Gonzalez, or Evan Gattis for all we know. Even if you want to hold it against him, 2017 ended up being Beltran’s worst season by far by nearly every single metric you can possibly think of.