Born: Apr 24, 1977
The 1999 American League Rookie of the Year was traded to the Astros in June, 2004, months before he was supposed to hit the free agent market for the first time. The young Puerto Rican was a five-tool player who was capable of practically anything.
Despite a .258 average, Beltran belted 23 homers and drove in 58 in 90 games as an Astro but he turned it up a notch for the postseason. Helping Houston win a postseason series for the first time, Beltran hit an amazing .435 with eight homers, 14 RBIs and six steals plus making some driving catches in centerfield as the Astros beat the Braves in five games then took the Cardinals to seven games before bowing out.
Houston fans adored their new superstar but Beltran's agent, the notorious Scott Boras, had already mapped out a path to get Beltran to join the Mets for more money than the Astros could offer even though they supposedly offered the richest contract in club history. Beltran signed with New York on January 13, 2005.
Beltran returned to Houston on a one-year contract for the 2017 season. In his age 40 season, the Astros are looking for Beltran to provide veteran leadership to a young core group of players while serving as the club's primary designated hitter.