Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hottest of the Hot Corner: Ranking MLB's Top 16 Third Basemen—No. 11

New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
Part 6 of 16

No. 11 Adrian Beltre, Boston Red Sox

Looking to beef up its defense, the Red Sox signed free agent Adrian Beltre to fill the hot corner. The team figured that the slick fielding third baseman will be an upgrade over a hobbled Mike Lowell and Kevin Youkilis.

Doing his best Big Papi imitation, Beltre has yet to hit a home run in the friendly confines of Fenway Park— or anywhere for that matter—but is batting .330 thus far in 2010. The power drought may not be an aberration, though, as the former slugger managed just 8 HR's a year ago.

Over 13 major league seasons, Beltre has clubbed 250 home runs while batting .271. In 2004, he finished second in the AL MVP voting when he batted .334 with 48 HR's and 121 RBI's, but has not come close to replicating those numbers since.

Although his production tailed off, his glove work remained a constant— winning the Gold Glove in back-to-back seasons. Perhaps feeling the pressure in Red Sox Nation, Beltre has been erratic in the early going amassing 5 errors in just 24 games.

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