Carlos Beltran Not Dead Yet

Courtesy: Paul J. Bereswilly/ NY Post Carlos Beltran was written off by pretty much everybody early in the season (myself included) after his struggles at the plate were so bad that he just looked cooked. It felt like another Alfonso Soriano situation where the Yankees were going to have no choice but to cut bait if it continued into the summer. A little quietly (as he does just about everything), Beltran has completely turned his season around and has been a consistent offensive performer for the Yankees since May.

For the season, Beltran is hitting .265/.327.450 with a .336 wOBA and a 114 wRC+. Since April, Beltran has had an OPS over .800 in each month, with a .816 OPS in May, .865 in June, .830 in July and a blistering 1.053 in August. His second half slash line is .283/.394/.533/.928 with a .400 wOBA and a 159 wRC+. Basically, Beltran has been a well over league average hitter since April and has not gotten much credit for his turnaround.

Beltran and Didi Gregorius were the only players hitting a lick during this offensive swoon that may or may not be over after last night's eight-run outburst. Beltran's big home run against Carlos Carrasco on Tuesday should have been the difference in a big win if Andrew Miller did not blow the save. The home run was more impressive than Chase Headley's go-ahead single because of how nasty a pitcher Carrasco is.

There have been a lot of surprises on the Yankees this year, but Beltran's resurgence may just be the biggest one. He just looked so lost in April that you had to think that he just hit a career wall. There was no shame if he did, since he's been a terrific player throughout his career, and that has to happen to everyone at some point. His bat speed just looked so slow and his hits had no pop that it really made you wonder if he could ever get it back. Now, Beltran's line drive rate of 20.6 percent is up over four points over last year's 16.5 percent rate.

Obviously, Beltran's defense is still a big issue, and he should really be a DH. Imagine how much even better he could hit if he wasn't playing the field all the time. However, if Beltran continues to rake like this you can live with the defensive shortcomings.

This is a good story to me because of how much Beltran always wanted to be a Yankee, and he should have been a long time ago if the Yankees had made a better decision. You definitely want guys on the Yankees who burn to wear the pinstripes because not everyone does. It would have been really sad if his Yankee career ended with him being a shell of himself because the Yankees waited too long to sign him. The latter part of that is still true, but at least Beltran has managed to be a respectable player for this season.

Not only has Beltran carried his own weight offensively, but he is helping his struggling teammates as well. I thought these tweets from Meredith Marakovits were interesting yesterday.

— Meredith Marakovits (@M_Marakovits) August 13, 2015" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=Your%20tweet%20goes%20here..." rel="nofollow" target="_blank">

— Meredith Marakovits (@M_Marakovits) August 13, 2015" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=Your%20tweet%20goes%20here..." rel="nofollow" target="_blank">

— Meredith Marakovits (@M_Marakovits) August 13, 2015" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=Your%20tweet%20goes%20here..." rel="nofollow" target="_blank">

Beltran seemed to help, as Ellsbury looked a lot more comfortable at the plate with two hits. With a huge pennant race still to go, Beltran could pay even more dividends. A big reason why the Yankees brought him in was for his clutch exploits in the postseason, so if you believe in that kind of stuff than there will be some huge chances for Beltran to come through in big games down the stretch, and potentially October. Even if that doesn't happen, he has had a better year than pretty much anyone could have expected after watching him in April.