HOUSTON, TX - MAY 12: Adrian Beltre #29 of the Texas Rangers hits a two-run home run in the third inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on May 12, 2014 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Adrian Beltre just isn't slowing down.
He turned 35 years old the week the season began, he hit the disabled list for two weeks with a quad strain, and it looked for a short time the sad decline of one of the all-time Ranger greats was kicking in.
Now, that thought is hilarious.
Despite not having any help around him with the exception of Alex Rios, who provides only moderate protection, Beltre is having one of the better seasons of his career. It's not 2004 good, and it might not eclipse any of his previous three seasons in Texas, but other than those, it's the 17-year veteran's best year, and it just so happens to be coming in the Rangers' worst season since 2008.
Beltre is in the midst of an 11-game hitting streak and has seen his batting average climb to .334, good for second in the American League by a slim margin, and he's leading the team with 12 home runs and 48 RBIs despite missing two weeks. Since the beginning of May, Beltre has batted .351.
Beltre finished first in the AL player voting at third base, but he finished second in the fan voting to Oakland's Josh Donaldson, who will start the game thanks to the horrible process of selecting the game's starters.
“It’s an honor, especially since I got the vote of the players," Beltre told ESPN Dallas on Monday. “But it isn’t any better to be picked now than my first time. To me, it’s all the same."