Yes, yes, this is yet another "we love Beltran" posts here at Amazin' Avenue. Sorry to pile on, but as Beltran moves on to the Giants (a necessary, but great move by Alderson and company) I can't help but feel the need to further reinforce just what we Met fans had the privilage of watching since 2005.
In terms of Baseball-References' Wins Above Replacement measure, Beltran ranks second all-time as a Met for position players. His 32 WAR since 2005 ranks only behind Daryl Strawberry's 37.7. In terms of WAR per season, Beltran (4.57) ranks third behind John Olerud (6.2) and Strawberry (4.71).
If we are talking about position players with as many seasons as a Met as Beltran bumps back up to second behind Daryl.
More than his performance relative to other Mets, Beltran is clearly among the all time greats as a centerfielder league-wide.
Don't believe me? Just look at the data:
Back in March I wrote a piece for Beyond the Box Score that looked at Beltran and is likely place in history once his brilliant career is over.
The image above is a screen shot of an interactive tool I put together (see below for the actual interactive tool)--size of bubbles equals career rWAR. Beltran was in a pretty good position heading into his twilight, better than I actually expected. He was already almost identical to Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn in terms of Rbat and Rfield. However, most of the CF's that are in the Hall of Fame with less than 200 Rbat are old timers.
The graphic includes two projected 40-year old Beltrans. The first is modeled on Jim Edmonds (light red bubble) band simply took Edmonds' Rbat and Rfield from ages 34-40 and added that to Beltran's current totals. The other is based on Brett Butler (light blue bubble). The idea was to get a min-max type projection to see where he might finish and whether he might up relative to current Hall of Fame center fielders. In the end,
Bottom line: even before Beltran's resurgent year in 2011, he was arguably Hall of Fame material. And, as Met fans, we were fortunate to watch him accumulate more than half his career rWAR.
So today, let's ignore all the naysayers and doubters and remember what a privilege it was to watch one of the greatest centerfielders of their generation--and arguably all time--play for our squad, and wish him the best.
Feel free to play around with the visualization below.