After losing Albert Pujols to free agency last December, the St. Louis Cardinals' front office had to do something to help compensate for the loss of one of the franchise's most iconic players.
Their answer was Carlos Beltran.
After the successful season Lance Berkman had in 2011, the Cardinals are cautiously optimistic that Beltran could make somewhat of a similar recovery to his career. The revival of Beltran's career would certainly not be as drastic as that of Berkman's. In fact Beltran hit for a .300 average in 2011, with 22 home runs and 84 RBI, but at the age of 35, Beltran is certainly not in his prime.
The Cardinals though, rolled the dice and signed Beltran to a two-year $26 million deal on December 22.
The move has certainly paid off.
Although Beltran fell into a slump to end the month of April, his first month as the Cardinals' new right-fielder can certainly be described as a success. Beltran closed out the month of April with a .253 batting average, a .379 OBP, five home runs, 11 RBI and 17 runs scored.
So why is Beltran having so much success with his new team in St. Louis? He certainly has not gotten any younger since he finished his 2011 campaign with San Francisco, but there is something different about how Beltran is playing this year compared to his last few seasons.
Here are five reasons why Carlos Beltran is off to a such a strong start to begin the 2012 season.