Engel In The Outfield
In what was expected to be the most important season in Engel Beltre’s young professional baseball career, the outfielder has shown some signs of improvement. From a power and speed perspective, the 2012 season has been a terrific season for the 22 year old outfield prospect. Beltre has already reached double figures in home runs for the first time in his career with ten long balls. His 12 triples, a Frisco RoughRiders single season record, also rank as a career high. In fact, Beltre is one of only four players in minor league baseball with double figure totals in doubles, triples, and home runs. The other four players are Starling Marte (Pittsburgh Pirates AAA), Jared Mitchell (Chicago White Sox AAA), and Brett Jackson (Chicago Cubs AAA). Of the four players, Beltre leads the group with 27 steals. However, to make the 2012 season a true breakout year Beltre needed to show improvement in patience at the plate. Instead, Beltre has actually regressed to his lowest walk percentage (3.8%) since Class-A ball for the Clinton Lumberkings in 2008.
Engel Beltre has been hot of late, however, as he is hitting .295 with an .852 OPS in the month of July. He was named the Texas League Player of the Week for the week of July 16-22 after he hit two doubles, a triple, and three home runs, including a home run in three straight games. He was named a Texas League All-star after hitting .239 with six home runs and a .664 OPS before the All-Star break. Overall on the season, he is hitting .249 with the ten home runs, 38 RBI, 58 runs, and 27 steals in 33 attempts.
Story by Michael Damman
Video clips courtesy of the RoughRiders
Photos by James Garner and Alex Yocum-Beeman