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Adrián Beltré Pérez (born April 7, 1979 in Santo Domingomarker, Dominican Republicmarker) is a Major League Baseball third baseman who is currently a free agent. He has played for the Los Angeles Dodgers ( - ) and the Seattle Mariners ( - ). He bats and throws right-handed.

He was signed out of the Dominican Republicmarker by the Los Angeles Dodgers in . Beltré attended Liceo Maximo Gomez High School, where he developed into one of the school’s top players. In 1994, while working out at Campo Las Palmas, the Los Angeles Dodgers facility, he was spotted by scouts Ralph Avila and Pablo Peguero. Though only 15 and weighing just 130 pounds, he had a lightning-quick swing and electric throwing arm. On the insistence of Avila and Peguero, the Dodgers signed Adrian in July. He received a $23,000 bonus. When it was revealed that Beltre had signed his initial contract at the age of 15, commissioner Bud Selig suspended the Dodgers' scouting operations in the Dominican Republic for a year, due to the fact that signing a player at that age was prevented under MLB rules.

Beltré debuted with the Dodgers in the 1998 season at age 19.

In his effort to maintain his Gold Glove title, Beltré forgoes personal safety including the use of a protective cup.

Major league career

Los Angeles Dodgers

After being called up to the majors from the then Dodgers Double-A affiliate San Antonio Missions, Beltré made his major league debut on June 21, starting at third base in the first game of an interleague series against the Anaheim Angels. During his first at-bat, Beltré smashed a two-out RBI double off Angels starter Chuck Finley into left field to score Paul Konerko from second base to tie the game. He would hit his first home run six days later against Texas Rangers starter Rick Helling. At the end of the 1998 season, Beltré would finish with 13 errors at third base while batting .215 with seven home runs.

The Dodgers saw Beltré develop into a consistent and durable young star during his time with the team, as he hit .265 while hitting 18 homers a year (on average). From through , Beltré also started 710 games at third base (out of 810 games played) averaging a .948 fielding percentage.

Beltré enjoyed his best season in 2004, with career highs in batting average (.334), RBI (121), runs (104), hits (200), doubles (32), on base percentage (.388), slugging average (.629), OPS (1.017), total bases (376), and 48 home runs, which led the league. He won the Silver Slugger Award, and finished second in the National League MVP voting, just behind Barry Bonds.

Seattle Mariners

Beltré was signed by the Seattle Mariners as a free agent before the season to a five-year, $64 million deal; however, he did not supply the offensive presence the Mariners had expected. Regressing to his pre-2004 form, he batted just .255 with 19 home runs and 87 RBI. Manager Mike Hargrove did not give up hope on Beltre, saying, "I think it's a season that, personally, he's disappointed in. I think it was a year that he will improve on the longer he's here and the longer he's in the American League."

 was, likewise, a disappointment for Beltré and led some to suspect that he had used steroids in his contract year of 2004, or at least had ramped up his production in order to be considered for a heftier contract. Beltré, in an interview for the Seattle Times, denied his dropoff in 2006 to have anything to do with steroids. After batting .167 through April 10, Ted Miller of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer suggested that Beltré may become one of the Mariners' greatest busts. By June 5, 2006, Beltré's batting average was slowly improving, from .109 on April 16 to .236 at that time. After hitting his first home run in April, and his second later that month, Beltré improved his hitting, getting more hits in ballgames, most notably doubles. He also hit two home runs in the first five days of June, good signs for Beltré as well as the Mariners. Beltre homered twice on the last day of the 2006 season to end up with a batting average of .268, 25 home runs and 89 RBI.

On July 23, 2006, against the Boston Red Sox, Beltré hit an inside-the-park home run, the first one ever in Safeco Fieldmarker history.

Beltré throwing

Though it wasn't a great season for Beltre, it was his best as a Mariner. He hit .276, had 26 home runs, and had 99 RBI. He also had a career high 41 doubles.

The 2007 season wasn't one of Beltré's better defensive years statistically.[101701] In 2007, he tied with Brandon Inge for the AL lead in errors by a third baseman, with 18, but Beltré ranked second in the league in assists, total chances, and range factor. He also had the lowest fielding percentage of all third basemen in the league, .958.[101702] Beltré was awarded the Gold Glove award.

In the season, Beltré began the curious practice of requesting an appeal to the first base umpire on checked swings during his own at bats. Such appeals can result in the base umpire ruling a pitch a strike, when it would otherwise have been ruled a ball by the home plate umpire. Therefore, making such a request is advantageous only to the pitching team.

On September 1, , Beltré hit for the cycle, becoming the 4th Seattle Mariner to do so. Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew hit for the cycle that day as well, the first time two players had done so since .Adrian Beltre currently resides in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and has a home in Pasadena, California with his wife and daughter.

Beltre's decision not to wear a cup despite playing third base has been well-documented. This really came back to hurt him on August 13, 2009, when he took a hard ground ball to the crotch.

Although he stayed in for the remainder of the 14 inning victory, he was put on the DL after suffering bleeding in one of his testicles.

In his first game back from the DL from that injury, teammate Ken Griffey Jr. conspired with those responsible for the Safeco Fieldmarker PA system to have Beltre's at-bat intro music be the waltz from The Nutcracker Suite.

Beltre declared free agency on November 5, .

See also


  1. Dayn Perry, "Do Players Perform Better in Contract Years?", Baseball Between the Numbers: Why Everything You Know About the Game is Wrong, (New York, NY, Basic Books and Baseball Prospectus, 2005), p. 200-01.
  2. Perry, p. 200.

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