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Dodgers fans recall this Adrian Beltre; Mariners fans, not so much

August 28, 2012|By Chuck Schilken
  • Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre is hitting .332 with 15 homers, 14 doubles and 44 RBIs over his last 65 games.
Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre is hitting .332 with 15 homers, 14 doubles… (Ronald Martinez / Getty…)

Adrian Beltre has been on quite a tear lately for the Texas Rangers. In his last eight games, the veteran third baseman is hitting .385 with six home runs and 13 RBIs.

That includes a three-home run game and another in which he hit for the cycle last week, plus a three-for-three, four-RBI performance with another home run to lead the Rangers over the Tampa Bay Rays, 6-5, Monday night.

“He's locked in,” Rangers Manager Ron Washington said.

Over his last 65 games, Beltre is hitting .332 with 15 homers, 14 doubles and 44 RBIs. For the season, he is averaging .315 with 25 home runs and 81 RBIs.

Dodgers fans might remember this guy. Beltre spent the first seven years of his major league career in L.A. and was a mediocre to solid player in the first six. During that span his career highs were a .290 batting average (2000), 23 home runs (2003) and 85 RBIs (2000).

But then came his contract year in 2004, and what a year it was. Beltre exploded for a .334 average with a whopping 48 home runs and 121 RBIs, finishing second in the National League MVP voting and leading the Dodgers into the playoffs for the first time since 1996.

And then he was gone, signing a five-year, $64-million deal with Seattle. But he never came close to matching his numbers of 2004; his best year with the Mariners came in 2007, with a .276 average, 26 home runs and 99 RBI.

He experienced a resurgence with the Boston Red Sox in 2010 (.321 with 28 home runs and 102 RBIs) and that has continued in Texas, where he hit .296 with 32 home runs and 105 RBIs last year. And with the way he's been hitting the ball of late, Beltre may come close to matching some of his numbers from 2004 -- and this isn't even a contract year.

"Right now, I feel good," Beltre said. "I feel comfortable, and have confidence offensively.”

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