There’s no doubting Beltre’s Hall of Fame worthiness; the Dominican star will, once he retires, go down as one of the greatest defensive third basemen ever and a consistently excellent hitter, particularly in his later years. Thankfully, we’re still a few years away from Beltre hanging up his spikes, but 2017 will see him hit a milestone that will make his Cooperstown induction all but automatic: 3,000 career hits. Beltre begins this season, his 20th in the majors, just 58 hits shy of the mark, so if he stays healthy he should get there well before the All-Star break. So come for the history and stay for Beltre’s dazzling glove work, his delightful if unusual swings at the plate and his tussles with Elvis Andrus, the shortstop who functions as the Costello to Beltre’s (occasionally scowling) Abbott.
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