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2009 Review: Adrian Beltre


I believe that I already made my feelings towards Adrian Beltre very clear in this post, so despite the fact that I could go on for hours on why I love Adrian Beltre, I’ll try to keep myself strictly in season review mode.

Coming into 2009, I think most of Mariner nation had pretty high hopes for Adrian Beltre. He was finally healthy after having surgery to remove bone spurs in his shoulder back in 2008, and was, from all accounts, poised to have a healthy, successful season. You probably don’t need me to tell you how that worked out, but I will anyway.

The news broke in mid-June that his bone spurs had grown back, and just days later he opted to have surgery and miss up 6 weeks of baseball, rather than attempt to tough it out for awhile. He hadn’t exactly been himself up to that point, either – the spectacular defense was there, and just as strong as ever, but he was struggling mightily to find his power stroke. Through June he had only 5 home runs.

After an ahead-of-schedule recovery (what else would you expect from Beltre?), Adrian was back and ready to return to the field…. for 9 games that is, before he ruptured his testicle. I’m sure you all know the story, but jut in case; He got hit in the balls by a hard grounder while not wearing a cup, and he went on to not only finish the game, but to single and score the winning run in the 14th inning. If that isn’t the ultimate display of manliness, I honestly have no idea what is.

He returned to the field once again at the start of September, after missing about three weeks due to the testicle injury, and went on to play the remainder of the year, free of any health issues. His offense never really picked up, and he ended the season with his worst power numbers since his rookie year – granted, he only played in 111 games.

Amazingly enough, despite a measly .305 wOBA and only 8 home runs, he still managed to be a 2.3 win player. I guess Adrian Beltre is just living proof of what playing spectacular defense can do to your value. And when I say spectacular, I mean spectacular – he posted the 4th best UZR in baseball of 13.7, in only 111 games. If not for the injuries, he would certainly be deserving of his third consecutive gold glove.

2009 wasn’t necessarily the ideal way for Adrian to end his Mariner career, but at the very least, it was certainly indicative of the type of player he is. He’s tough, he absolutely plays his heart out, and he’s one hell of a third baseman.

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