Astros skipper A.J. Hinch’s young, star-studded squad rolls back into Houston for Game 3 of the World Series with the series tied at 1 game a piece. For players like Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman and George Springer this is their first of many deep runs into the postseason. However, somewhere lost in the shuffle of this youthful and loaded team quietly lies one baseballs greatest post season hitters of all time.
Holding a STUNNING 1.026 OPS throughout his 255 career plate appearances in the postseason, Carlos Beltran is keeping the young stars in line behind the scenes. “I always try to make them aware of how blessed it is to have this opportunity when you get to play in a playoff in October. It doesn’t happen very often,” Beltran said in an interview prior to an ALCS game vs the New York Yankees.
Beltran broke into the league in the final weeks of the 1998 season for the Kansas City Royals. Yes I said 1998. We’re talking 20 seasons in the books for this 9x All Star. On June 24, 2004, the Astros acquired Beltran from Kansas City for their first run at a title together. Carlos’ October tear that post season is well documented ; however they came up short in the League Championship Series.
Fast forward 12 seasons later and Carlos would head back south to Houston, this time with a much stronger resume. Showing signs of wear and tear in the previous season with the New York Yankees, the switch hitting OF/DH hit a career low .231 with a very disappointing .283 OBP. Beltran still hasn’t won a World Series in his distinguished MLB career, but that hasn’t been for lack of trying.
In 15 playoff rounds for 5 different teams he’s hitting at a nice little .302 clip with an OBP of .413. His one and only World Series appearance prior to this 2017 campaign was with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2013, who ultimately met their demise against the Boston Red Sox in 6 games.
Beltran may continue to occasionally contribute offensively to this young Astros team, but his contributions at this point should mostly be off the diamond. With Beltran’s best days behind him, this is most likely the battle tested veterans last shot at a ring.
For the city of Houston, they’ve got their own World Series demons to deal with. The franchise who entered the league in 1962 is also seeking their first title in its 55 year history. It only seems fitting that Beltran and the Astros would get together again for one last try.