Friday, December 23, 2011

Carlos Beltran Is A Cardinal

My three favorite players of all time, unsurprisingly, are all Royals. In order they are Freddie Patek, George Brett and Carlos Beltran. I'm facing a dilemma here as Beltran signing with my least favorite team has unleashed a storm of emotions that I'm not adequately prepared to deal with. It's not in my DNA to cheer for the Cardinals (though it's in my dad's, weird), but I want Beltran to do well, but if he does well that'll help the Cardinals win, so I'm conflicted. But I'll deal with that mental mess in April.

Beltran's contract does come with some risk but it's an absolute steal if he stays healthy. I made the comment on twitter that I'd rather have him for the 2/26 deal he signed than Jeff Francoeur for 2/13. Now of course such a statement called for feedback and I received plenty. The majority of comments were pro-Francoeur, which I suspected would be the case, he had a really good season and is pretty much an extremely likable guy.

The consensus on Beltran on the other hand was that because he's older he's past his prime. And he may be but you certainly wouldn't know it from his production. Since turning 30 he's posted a 133 OPS+, which is far better than the 115 he posted in his 20's. Last season his 152 OPS+ was a career high, at age 34. Let me repeat that, and put in bold to make it more noticeable.

Last season his 152 OPS+ was a career high, at age 34.

For whatever reason his 2011 season flew way under the radar and I think people just naturally assumed Francoeur was better without comparing their respective seasons. Since the majority of what I do here is compare, allow me to shock and awe you.

Player PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS+ rWAR
Francoeur 656 77 171 47 4 20 87 22 10 37 123 .285 .329 .476 119 2.7
Beltran 598 78 156 39 6 22 84 4 2 71 88 .300 .385 .525 152 4.4

Of course that doesn't mean that Beltran will repeat his 2011 performance the next two seasons but I'd wager the naming rights to my next child that he'll outperform Francoeur in OPS+ and WAR, and by a significant margin. Outside of his injury filled sophomore season the lowest OPS+ Beltran has posted was 96, in 2005. Care to guess what Francoeur's career OPS+ is? Yep, you guessed it, 96.

I didn't have a problem with Francoeur's extension when it was signed, well other than I wished it was for one year instead of two. But there's no doubt he's a question mark heading into 2012 as he's given absolutely no reason in his career to believe he's capable of replicating his 2011 numbers. I hope he does, so don't think I'm rooting against him. I mean it's not an insult to suggest Beltran is better, especially when the stats back it up.

3 comments:

Mel said...

Payroll implications? Have to take that into consideration.

Jeff Parker said...

Beltran = Francoeur/Broxton/Yuni

JonathanN said...

Clear, informative, simple. Like your post!