The Hot Stove League is really heating up as the Winter Meetings beckon this week. The latest is that multiple sources are reporting that free agent 3B Adrian Beltre will sign a four year/60 million dollar contract with the Oakland A’s. No doubt Beltre was one of the biggest free agents on the market and now is the perfect time to re-evaluate his fantasy baseball prospects for the 2011 season. Lets get to it.
The obvious conclusion you can draw from this signing is the fact that Beltre is going from one of the best hitting ballparks in the majors to one of the worst. Oakland has proven itself over the years to be one of the toughest places to hit a home run in the majors and surely Beltre has got to be used to this after playing a good chunk of his career in Seattle. Also for the second time in his career, Beltre put up a monstrous season in his free agent year which seems more than coincidental. Almost no one would have expected Beltre to repeat his .321 28 HR 102 RBI 2010 and now going to Oakland, the smart thinking would be to put him right back into the statistical level he was at while in Seattle. Beltre has that nasty history of seemingly shutting it down some after he gets the big bucks which is the case here and the ballpark parallel is uncanny. The third base position is one of the shallowest in fantasy baseball but Beltre stands a likely chance of yielding a negative value again as he will be drafted based on last year’s numbers and not what he likely will do going forward now.
2011 PROJECTION: .281 BA 89 R 25 HR 91 RBI 4 SB