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Entries in adrian beltre (12)

Saturday
Sep012012

Adrian Beltre’s august (adjective) August (noun)

Adrian Beltre and the Texas Rangers had a great August.

Last night Beltre had four hits and two runs scored in the Ranger’s 5-3 win over the Indians. With the win the Rangers matched a team record for wins in August having also won 19 in August 1975 and 1977.

Beltre has been even hotter than the Rangers who celebrated their third month this season with 17+wins (17-6 in April; 19-9 in June). Beltre has gone 17-36 (.472) with 14 RBI in his last nine games hit .472 (17 for 36) with 14 RBIs in his last nine games. After a soft July, Beltre has been huge as the Rangers led the majors in runs in August.

Beltre had 10 games in August in which he had multiple hits and the Rangers were 8-2 in those games:

RkDateOppRsltABRH2B3BHRRBI
1 2012-08-31 CLE W 5-3 5 2 4 2 0 0 1
2 2012-08-27 TBR W 6-5 3 1 3 1 0 1 4
3 2012-08-24 MIN W 8-0 4 1 4 1 1 1 3
4 2012-08-23 MIN W 10-6 5 2 3 1 0 1 1
5 2012-08-22 BAL W 12-3 5 3 3 0 0 3 5
6 2012-08-21 BAL L 3-5 4 0 2 1 0 0 0
7 2012-08-18 TOR W 2-1 4 1 2 1 0 0 0
8 2012-08-16 NYY W 10-6 3 2 2 0 0 0 3
9 2012-08-11 DET W 2-1 4 0 2 0 0 0 0
10 2012-08-05 KCR L 6-7 4 1 3 1 0 0 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/1/2012.

As you can see from the chart above, Beltre had his first career three-homer game and hit for the cycle for the second time in his career on 8/24 when he became the player in major league history to hit for the cycle in the same ballpark as a visiting and home player.

Take a look at Beltre's .258 July:

Now, look at how Beltre owned the middle, lower, and outside portions of the plate in August when he hit .333:

 

Beltre month-by-month:

SplitGSABRH2B3BHRRBIBAOBPSLGOPS
April/March 20 81 13 26 6 0 4 13 .321 .356 .543 .900
May 23 101 15 32 6 0 6 21 .317 .327 .554 .882
June 28 108 17 37 6 0 4 18 .343 .392 .509 .901
July 23 93 12 24 2 0 4 9 .258 .289 .409 .697
August 29 111 19 37 9 1 7 21 .333 .384 .622 1.006
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Original Table
Generated 9/1/2012.
Saturday
Aug252012

Adrian Beltre's Cycle

With the most violent swing this side of Bryce Harper, Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre takes cuts so hard that he'll occasionally end up on one knee at home plate. Beltre didn't end up kneeling after any of his base knocks while hitting for the cycle against the Twins last night, but he brought Twins pitchers Samuel Dedundo and Kyle Waldrop to their knees by doing what he does best: bludgeoning pitches thrown below the belt.

All four of Beltre's hits came on pitches thrown in the lower half of the strike zone. Beltre tripled off the left-center field wall on a middle-of-the-plate curveball from Dedundo in the first inning and lined a low Dedundo fastball to left field in the second. He then homered on a low curve from Dedundo in the fifth, nearly losing his balance as the ball screamed into the left field stands, and finally singled on a low Waldrop fastball in the seventh:

Location of Beltre's hits, 8/24/12

 

Lashing lower-half pitches is nothing new for Beltre. Check out his slugging percentage by pitch location against pitches thrown at or below the belt:

 

Among qualified hitters, only Boy Wonder Mike Trout, Edwin Encarnacion, A.J. Pierzynski, Austin Jackson and now-suspended Melky Cabrera have a higher slugging percentage against lower-half pitches this season. :

Highest slugging percentage vs. lower-half pitches, 2012

BatterSlugging Pct.
Mike Trout .636
Edwin Encarnacion .604
A. J. Pierzynski .573
Austin Jackson .569
Melky Cabrera .567
Adrian Beltre .563
Ryan Braun .562
Jason Heyward .558
Andrew McCutchen .549
Josh Hamilton .539
MLB Avg. .386

 

 

Wednesday
Jun272012

My All Star Starters: AL 3B

While voting for the All-Star game ends tomorrow, I will still be producing these articles to discuss who I believe should have the starting nod and who should be on the team. Up tonight is the American League hot corner. This is a position that requires great reflexes coupled with a great arm, and, being a corner infield position, it is expected that this will be a position of hitting strength. All of the men being considered here are exceptional at their position and are all deserving of being in the conversation. Voting numbers can be found here.

#1. Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers 3,073,541

Beltre leapt into first place since the last update, leading by almost 400,000 votes, and it has been well deserved. Since Beltre signed a one year deal with the Red Sox in 2010, he has been one of the most consistent third basemen in the game, showcasing unbelievable glovework coupled with an ability to hit for average and power. His power numbers really spiked after a down year in '09 where he only managed to put 8 out of the park. Since then he has gone deep 73 times. Below is a picture of how Beltre has adjusted an begun hitting more pitches for power.

Beltre is well known for his ability to go down on one knee and muscle balls out of the park. If you haven't seen it before, here is a link to see one from his Red Sox days. 

Beltre is not without fault though, as he sports a much higher groundball rate versus left handed pitching than righties, which has hurt his average versus southpaws.

Left (versus Righties) - Right (versus Lefties)This has not been too much of a problem, but if he can increase his flyball rate versus lefties, especially on the outside part of the zone, he may find that his average could increase even further. Now on to the stats.

71 G, 274 AB, 42 R, 90 H, 17 2b, 13 HR, 48 RBI, 1 SB, 16 BB, 34 SO, .328 AVG, .361 OBP, .533 SLG

Beltre could also afford to be a little more patient and draw some walks to boost the on-base percentage, but if he continues to get hits when he puts the ball in play, I can't really blame him for being a free swinger. Beltre continues to be an all-star on the offensive and defensive side of the ball, and I wholeheartedly believe that he should have a place on that team when all is said and done.

 

#2. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers 2,692,047 

Something has to be said for Cabrera's durability after the move back to third. He has played in 74 games, even after taking a hard hopper to the eye in spring training, which happened to leave a nice battle scar. The move back to third also hasn't hurt his ability to rake. Cabrera is one of those unique hitters that has power to all fields, and he is showcasing that this season. He has hit seven home runs to left, four to center, and four to right field, totaling up to fifteen big flies. Below is a chart of the spread of his hits throughout the season.

Cabrera has taken advantage of pitches left up in the zone and driven the ball all over ballparks, including a mammoth 514 ft Home Run to left field off of Jake Peavy of the Chicago White Sox. Cabrera has also managed to get hits off the hard stuff, averaging .350 against pitches with a velocity of at least 91 mph. If the velocity drops down below that, he tapers off, hitting only .273.

 

As long as pitchers continue to throw him the hard stuff, Cabrera will remain an all-star caliber hitter. Lets look at his stats.

74 G, 299 AB, 43 R, 91 H, 22 2b, 15 HR, 59 RBI, 3 SB, 26 BB, 46 SO, .304 AVG, .363 OBP, .528 SLG

Cabrera has Beltre beat in overall power numbers, but that could be a 25 at bat factor that has allowed the Tigers' third basemen more opportunity to hit the long ball. Cabrera is mashing the ball this season, but I do not believe that he should be considered the started over Beltre.

 

#3. Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees 1,748,534

Compared to the first two guys on this list, the rest have been underwhelming. ARod hasn't been awful, but he also hasn't been able to live up to the performance of Cabrera and Beltre. Strangely enough, ARod has seen a concentration of pitches located dead in the strike zone, but he hasn't been able to capitalize to boost his average. 

ARod has been excellent in one strike counts this season, with an ISO rate of .323.

 

71 G, 264 AB, 40 R, 70 H, 6 2b, 13 HR, 34 RBI, 6 SB, 32 BB, 63 SO, .265 AVG, .355 OBP, .436 SLG

Comparing his stats to the vote leaders, he is matching them well in the HR numbers, but he lacks in the total extra base hit department. He is drawing walks at a higher rate, which has put his OBP in the same range, but the SLG is down 100 points. ARod has had an amazing career, but this is not an all star year for the third baseman.

 

#4. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays 1,688,509

Before a major injury sidelined his season before the thirty game mark, Longo was on pace to be better than any third baseman in the league. He had drawn one less walk in that time than Beltre has all season and he had more doubles than ARod has compiled. His AVG, OBP, and SLG would be at the top of the list for AL third basemen, but he hasn't played in over a month and probably will not be ready for the all-star game either way. His BABIP was way up, so it is conceivable he may have tailed off a bit. Here is a look at that heat map.

23 G, 82 AB, 15 R,  27 H, 7 2b, 4 HR, 19 RBI, 2 SB, 15 BB, 17 SO, .329 AVG, .433 OBP, .561 SLG

I'm a huge Longoria fan, and I hope he tears it up in the second half.

 

Wild Card: Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays

Readers must understand that he is not the everyday third baseman and has played more of a DH role, but I believe he is worthy of consideration here. He has 21 HRs! That ranks him near the top of the league, nevermind among 3rd basemen. Also, his .572 SLG ranks him fifth in the American League. His power numbers versus southpaws has been unreal, with a .371 ISO.

It's almost as if anything in the zone is getting hit for extra bases with this guy. If you don't believe it, look at the numbers:

71 G, 269 PA, 44 R, 77 H, 14 2b, 21 HR, 52 RBI, 6 SB, 28 BB, 53 SO, .286 BA, .361 OBP, .572 SLG

This guy has been revitalized. If he can continue this pace throughout the year, the Blue Jays will have quite a formidable lineup with Encarnacion hitting behind Bautista.

 

Results

1. Adrian Beltre

2. Miguel Cabrera

3. Edwin Encarnacion (due to less starts at 3b)

4. ARod

5. Brett Lawrie (Encarnacion's teammate and starting Blue Jays Third Baseman is having a good year)