This is sacrilege. I am fully aware of that. Daring to compare anyone to Adrian Beltre, one of the most beloved Texas Ranger of all time, is cause for a fight in most parts. That’s why Texas has open carry laws, in fact.
So, when you compare what the West Division Champion Rangers have at third base to what the World Champion Cubs have at third base, you tread lightly.
Okay, here it goes. Let me move away from a window and into a safe bunker.
The Cubs’ Kris Bryant was just as good as the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre. And vise versa.
Beltre had a great season. The guy is 37 years old and seems to be the Benjamin Button of baseball. He is reverse aging. He’s getting better, somehow. In 2016, he hit 32 home runs, drove in 104, and batted an even .300. But he didn’t even make the All-Star team in the American League.
In 2016, in only his second season in the major leagues, Bryant slammed slightly more home runs, 39, a few fewer RBIs, 102, had a tick lower batting average of .292, a tick higher on-base percentage, and a higher OPS. And he is the odds-on favorite for the National League MVP.
Two nearly identical seasons. One guy is the probably MVP. One guy wasn’t even an All-Star.
Adrian Beltre did, however, recently win his fifth Gold Glove award. All rumors of his being human have proven to be false.
The Rangers desperately need Adrian to somehow dip into the fountain of youth once more, to continue being animatronic. Because they have nobody in the minor leagues who will be ready to play third for a long long time.
And that’s okay with Rangers fans. We want to see Adrian there for a long long time.