Beltran Aims To Play Three Or Four More Years

Though he'll play most of next season at age 37, right fielder Carlos Beltran ranked seventh on my recent 2014 free agent power rankings.  It's difficult to ignore his production and relative durability since signing with the Cardinals prior to the 2012 season; he's hit .284/.346/.510 in 969 plate appearances and made the All-Star team both years.  Talking to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch at the All-Star game, Beltran suggested he'll play three or four more years, and admitted the Hall of Fame is on his mind.

"If I can stay healthy and play in the game to the level I’m playing right now, who knows, man?  I could be close," explained Beltran regarding the Hall.  Here's a look at the center field JAWS leaders, using Jay Jaffe's metric.  Beltran's case already seems superior to Hall of Famers Kirby Puckett, Andre Dawson, and Richie Ashburn, and reaching the 400 home run plateau with a strong finish would go a long way toward pushing him out of Kenny Lofton/Andruw Jones territory.

Beltran has enjoyed his time with the Cardinals, though the possible emergence next year of top outfield prospect Oscar Taveras has put his future with the club in doubt.

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