Spring training preview: Third base


Sep 2, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Texas Rangers infielder

Adrian Beltre

(29) prepares to throw the ball to first to record an out against the Oakland Athletics in the seventh inning at O.co Coliseum. The Athletics defeated the Rangers 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

It goes without saying that the Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was one of the best players on both sides of the plate.  His ability to play third and make outstanding play after another kept the Texas Rangers in many games last season.

Last year Adrian Beltre finished the season with a batting average of .315/.371/.509/.880 with 32 doubles and 30 home runs.  He lead the club with 199 hits, RBI and batting average.   Beltre was undoubtedly the Texas Rangers most valuable player.

Another thing going in Beltre’s favor has been his health.  Or at least his willingness to play, even if he’s hurting.  While that can sometimes hurt more in the long-term, Beltre has always been the player that Ron Washington can call on when needed.

Also, in a recent poll, fans said they see Adrian Beltre as the face of the Texas Rangers.

My prediction

Beltre should again be the MVP for the team, but this time he will have company with Shin-Soo Choo and Prince Fielder.  With those other players, I would expect to see even more out of Beltre this upcoming season.  With the likelyhood or more men on base, his RBI total should go up.  Also, I would expect about the same amount of home runs, and maybe a few more doubles.  I would think having an additional power hitter in the line up will give Beltre the chance to hit for contact instead of for power.  I don’t expect Ron Washington to change where Beltre bats either.  Beltre is signed through the 2016 season.