After not being elected into Cooperstown in 2023, will Carlos Beltran eventually make the Hall of Fame?
Carlos Beltran was not elected to the Hall of Fame in 2023. While he was the best newcomer on the ballot this season and certainly put up numbers worthy of a selection, his candidacy will surely be a debate in the coming years.
On the field, Beltran’s case for an induction into Cooperstown is strong. He is one of six players, and the only switch-hitter, with 2,500 hits, 300 stolen bases, and 300 home runs. He won three Gold Gloves as a center fielder. He hit .307/.412/.609 with 16 home runs in 256 postseason plate appearances, making the playoffs with five separate teams.
Here’s where it gets complicated: Beltran played a significant role in the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal in 2017 and 2018, one of the biggest scandals in baseball history. In 2020, just three days after he was implicated in the cheating scandal, he was fired as Mets manager before managing even one game.
Hasn’t Beltran been punished enough?
Besides, it’s not like the Astros were the only team that was electronically stealing signs, with the Red Sox made illegal use of their video room in 2018, according to The Athletic. Yes, Beltran was the leader of the Astros’ scandal. But AJ Hinch was the manager, Alex Cora was the bench coach, and Jeff Luhnow was the general manager. All were aware of it. Each of them were the ones who needed to put a stop to it.
Before the scandal, Beltran was lauded by teammates for his leadership and baseball knowledge. He was one of, if not the most popular players, across baseball and someone that players, both young and old, looked up to. That shouldn’t be overlooked in Beltran’s future candidacy.
It was always unlikely that Beltran was going to be elected into the Hall of Fame in 2023. Perhaps as the years go by and the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal drifts further into baseball history, voters will be more inclined to put him into Cooperstown.