Texas Rangers: There’s still life in the old man’s bat
By Travis Koch
Adrian Beltre has now homered in three of his last five games. Last big league season or not, he’s giving the Texas Rangers some excitement in September.
The Texas Rangers took the loss in last night’s game vs. the Los Angeles Angels. That totals the “L” column to 79 on the year. We’re used to Rangers losses in 2018, but what we’re not used to in 2018 is watching the ball leave the yard off Adrian Beltre‘s bat. That is until this past week.
Last night, the 39-year-old launched his third home run in his last five games. In that span, he has brought his home run total to 10 on the season. You best believe we weren’t going to see a single digit home run season from the future Hall of Famer. The last time Beltre had a season with less than 10 homers was his rookie season back in 1998 with the Dodgers.
Beltre’s power surge is fun to watch, especially since he could be running his final lap in his Major League Baseball career. “Running” may not be the right word. With the number of leg injuries he’s endured over his 21-year career, Beltre should be jogging in his final stretch. And for the sake of enjoying what’s left of his illustrious career, he should be walking the final stretch.
The man isn’t asking for a parade or for a standing ovation every time he steps up to the plate. Rather, he’s leaving his mark on the field, just as he’s done for the past 20 years. He’s still hitting in the middle of the lineup, lining home runs and driving his teammates in. His swing hasn’t wavered, nor has his competitiveness, nor has his enjoyment.
There’s no doubt Beltre can still play. Even at the age of 39 and beat up from the 2,914 MLB games he’s played, Beltre is still a more productive hitter than plenty of other big leaguers. He hasn’t been as consistent in years past, but a .273 batting average is well above league average, as is his .331 OBP.
This may not be Adrian Beltre’s last hoorah. He hasn’t really hinted one way or the other. It’s a decision that he’ll ultimately make once the offseason hits. He has made it clear that if he does play in 2019, he wants to be wearing a Texas Rangers uniform. Something tells me the Rangers won’t mind accommodating him in his request.
Whatever happens, hopefully he continues to swing the bat for the rest of month as he’s swung it the past five games. Certainly the Baseball Gods will see to it.