Sep 2, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre (29) hits an RBI triple during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Current Total: 410
Beltre has the most career homers among active hitters that aren’t already in the 500 Club, but he’s also the oldest candidate at age 36. Can he hang around for a few more years to pile up 90 more?
The Rangers third baseman is signed through next season, so he’ll be back for at least one more year. After that it’s anyone’s guess. He still has one of the best gloves around at the hot corner, but eventually you would expect that his range would decrease to the point where he can no longer play the position every day. Even if he proves capable of staying at third base for a few more years, the team that signs him to his next contract will have to factor in that risk. That may influence the Rangers desire to keep him beyond 2016, considering Prince Fielder will be clogging the DH spot in Texas for the foreseeable future.
If he does change teams after next season, where he ends up could have an effect on his future home run production. If he ends up playing in a pitcher’s park that saps some of his power, which we saw happen during his Seattle years, that could reduce his projected career home run total. Unless he remains in Texas, there aren’t many other teams that play in a more homer-friendly environment than Globe Life Park.
The last two seasons have also seen Beltre’s power begin to dwindle. Last year was the first season he failed to reach 20 home runs since 2009, when he played 111 games during his last season in Seattle. His career was revitalized by a brief stint with the Red Sox the following year when he hit 28 home runs, and he topped that number in each of the next three seasons after moving to Texas. This season he currently has only 15, as his power continues to decline.
Given his current trajectory it would take about 5 more seasons for Beltre to crack 500, which would take him through his age 41 season. It’s unlikely he hangs around that long, especially if his production continues to drop.
Verdict: Lukewarm chance
Next: Miguel Cabrera