An Underappreciated All-Star: A Case For Carlos Beltran

Metszilla.comCorrespondent IJune 21, 2010

NEW YORK - JUNE 10:  Carlos Beltran #15 of the New York Mets looks on during batting practice before the game against the Philadelphia Phillies during their game on June 10, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

On October 19th, 2006 Adam Wainwright's knee-buckling curve ball did more than strike out Carlos Beltran to end the NLCS and shatter the Mets hopes of going to the World Series.  Once Tim Welke called strike 3, opinions of Carlos in the minds of Met fans would be altered.  That one at-bat, that one pitch, may have set the groundwork for  Beltran becoming on of the most under appreciated superstars to ever don the Blue and Orange.  There has never been more evidence of this than there is today.

66 games into the 2010 Beltran-less season, it's safe to say that a near unanimous vote of confidence is being voiced by Met fans everywhere.  The team is coming off their best road trip of the season (7-2) and have won 18 of their last 24 games.  The Mets are just 2 1/2 games back of the unworldly Atlanta Braves and if the season ended today, New York would be playoff bound (currently they lead the NL Wild Card by 1/2 game over the Giants).

With Angel Pagan (Beltran's replacement) currently hitting .296 with 38 runs scored, 31 runs batted in, 14 stolen bases and a .357 on base percentage, some fans feel it may be time to move on from Carlos.  Not a day goes by in which a call doesn't come into WFAN 660 from a Mets fan pleading for the team to trade Beltran.  And, if you listen to FAN host Joe Beningo, you will not get much resistance.  Pagan leads the team with a .375 average with runners in scoring position and has excelled (.347 avg) when asked to bat behind and 'protect' David Wright in the 6 hole.  More recently, Angel has adjusted nicely to his new found home as the Mets 2 hitter (.305), replacing injured Louis Castillo.  Simply put, he has been a blessing from above, but he is not Carlos Beltran.

In his tenure with the Mets Carlos has hit .281 with 127 HR and 466 RBI, highlighted by his MVP (4th in voting) caliber 2006 season when he hit .275 with 41 HR and 116 RBI.  Over his 5 year stay in New York he is 210 for 718 (.292) with runners in scoring position and during the...TO READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AND MORE LIKE IT HEAD TO METSZILLA.COM BY CLICKING HERE: