As my homeboy Josh Alper pointed out on Thursday, new Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre is making quite the difference for the 2011 edition of the defending AL champs.
He's made play after play at the hot corner that never would've been made a year ago, and I think we all know that.
He's also hitting cleanup for the Rangers, sandwiched in between defending AL MVP Josh Hamilton and one of the hottest bats in the league in Mr. Boomstick, himself, Nelson Cruz.
So far this season, however, Beltre hasn't brought much to the plate.
He's hitting .125 on the young season with just one home run and four RBIs (all on a grand slam in the Rangers' second game of the season, a win over the Red Sox). That came after Hamilton was intentionally walked. The Red Sox did the same thing the next day, and Beltre didn't make them pay.
It's a young season, and an incredibly small sample size, but until Beltre starts making teams pay at the plate and shows some signs of his 25+ homer, 100+ RBI season a year ago in Boston, teams are going to keep pitching around Hamilton.
Safe money says that won't last much longer, but time will tell.