Well, you knew he was coming on this list eventually. The former Cardinal killer himself will put the Cardinal uniform on this season.
The arrival of Carlos Beltran will not only help fill the void Albert Pujols leaves, but he will also help replace Allen Craig in right field for the first few months of the season as Craig recovers from knee surgery.
Beltran is not the player he used to be, but he still has a lot left in the tank to help St. Louis. The slugger hit for a .300 average last year, along with 22 home runs and 84 RBIs as he split time with New York and San Francisco.
Beltran does not have as much speed as he used to, but he still has the ability to hit the ball in the gap and get doubles and triples. In 2011, Beltran hit 39 doubles and six triples—an indication that he still has some speed.
I think Beltran will have a big year for St. Louis. In New York and San Francisco, Beltran was the focal point in each lineup. St. Louis will be different.
Beltran will either hit before Holliday or after Berkman this year, making him a key piece to the lineup, but not the focal point. I expect Beltran to still hit for a .300 average, but the power and production will increase. I would look for a 30-home run season from Beltran and 100 RBIs.