Looking Ahead: Third Base - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Looking Ahead: Third Base



    In what will be a daily post, we'll talk about the upcoming season for the Texas Rangers and where guys fit in on the roster. It's almost baseball time!

    He'll turn 33 on Day 2 of the 2012 season but based off last year's performance there might not be a more promising year on the horizon for a Ranger than for Adrian Beltre.

    Beltre, long known as a contract-year player, had followed that trend throughout his career until last season, when in the first year of his deal with the Texas Rangers he had the third-best batting average of his career (.296), the second-most home runs (32) and the second-most RBIs (105) in his 14 major-league seasons.

    And as great as his bat is, Beltre might have more value with his glove at the hot corner. The Rangers had gone years without a quality third baseman before last season when Beltre earned Gold Glove honors and helping to form one of the best infields in baseball and without much question, the best left side of the infield in baseball with shortstop Elvis Andrus.

    Beltre caught fire in September after returning from a month-long stint on the disabled list when he hit 12 home runs in the final 16 games of the season to lead the Rangers to an AL West title.

    When Beltre gets a day off, or if he's injured, Michael Young would return to the hot corner like he did at times last season, which would be fine at the plate but would hurt the team defensively.

    Improvement needs: Stay healthy. As a full-time player in the majors, 2011 was the second-fewest games he played in a season (124). Imagine what his numbers would've been if he'd played 145-150 games.