Carlos Beltran fails to reach Cooperstown in 1st year, but path looks strong

Carlos Beltran
Posted at 6:14 PM, Jan 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-24 19:14:53-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Royals legend Carlos Beltran will miss Hall of Fame induction in his first year of eligibility.

Beltran will miss induction to Cooperstown in July as he failed to reach the 75% threshold this year, receiving 46.5% of the vote.

Former St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen was the only inductee to be voted in by the BBWAA, achieving 76.3% of the vote. He will join Fred McGriff to be inducted into Cooperstown in July. Former Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton was next closest to induction at 72.2%.

However, Beltran’s path to induction still looks strong. Twenty-five other men have reached at least 45% in their first year of eligibility but failed to make the hall in their debut year and all have eventually reached the Hall of Fame.

Beltran was among the 14 newcomers to debut on the 2023 Hall of Fame ballot. However, he and reliever Francisco Rodriguez were the two strongest cases among the 14 first-year candidates to stay on the ballot after this season.

He will have 10 years to reach the 75% threshold to reach Cooperstown unless he gets under 5% of the vote at any point during the process.

Beltran began his career with the Royals, spending his first six and a half seasons as the team's primary center fielder from 1998 to his midseason trade to the Houston Astros in 2004. Beltran would play with the New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers before ending his career with the Astros.

During his career, Beltran won two Silver Sluggers and three Gold Gloves, with nine All-Star appearances.

During his time with the Royals, Beltran hit .287/.352/.483, smashing 123 home runs, collecting nearly 900 hits, and over 500 RBIs. Beltran also won AL Rookie of the Year in 1999 and had one All-Star appearance, being voted the starting outfielder in 2004. However, he was ineligible to play due to his midseason trade to the Astros.

His overall numbers, especially his advanced numbers, are seen as Hall of Fame worthy.

According to Baseball-Reference, his JAWS, a metric developed by sabermetrician Jay Jaffe to measure a player's Hall of Fame worthiness, is the ninth highest of all-time among centerfielders. Everyone ahead of him is in the Hall of Fame.

Additionally, his similarity scores as a hitter compare favorably to Andre Dawson, Billy Williams and Al Kaline, all Hall of Famers.

However, during his last season as a player with the Astros, he was named by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred Jr. as one of the main people involved in the sign-stealing scandal that helped the team win the 2017 World Series. He was the only player named in the report by Manfred.