Beltrán on Puerto Rico’s Experience and Energy

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Carlos Beltrán is one of four Puerto Rican players to appear in all four World Baseball Classics, the most of any nation. Beltrán, who turns 40 in April, has put together a Hall of Fame-worthy career with 421 home runs and 312 steals, to say nothing of his postseason heroics.

The veteran has saved some of his best work for the WBC, with a career .313 average and 10 extra base hits in 28 games. Beltrán has the most starts at designated hitter (17, including tonight) of any player in Classic history, along with the most walks (19) and the most runs (17-tied). He is second in hits (30, one from tying the record) and third-most total bases (46).

We talked to him briefly after Puerto Rico clinched a spot in the WBC championship

Gabriel Fidler: You’re one of the veteran leaders on this team. How are you tapping into—especially your previous World Baseball Classic experience—in preparing these guys, especially the younger guys that it’s their first tournament?
Carlos Beltrán: I think it’s important when you have experience you share it with the younger guys and the fact that these younger guys are hungry for baseball, they listen and they want to learn. For me, it’s a great thing, because my job as a veteran guy is to help the younger guys understand the different types of situations they might have during the Classic and focus on the details.

Most importantly, you gotta be you. You cannot take the field thinking you gotta be the hero that day. I think if you do your job and you let the people around you do your job, that’s the right mentality.

GF: Do you find, in return, that these younger guys give you older players energy?
CB: There’s no doubt. They bring a lot of energy and you feed from that. In my case, I gotta do what I gotta do. I’m a veteran guy, I know my preparation, that would not affect my preparation, but watch them play every day, hard, it’s a beautiful thing.

Beltrán walked in the first inning of the championship game and could set the career hits mark with a multi-hit performance.

About Gabriel Fidler

Extra Innings UK covers baseball around the world, focussing on the sport at the national team level, with features on prominent players, scouting reports, and occasional breaking news. We are fully credentialled by MLB and have covered the World Baseball Classic, continental championships, and the U.S. minor leagues.
This entry was posted in Caribbean, Interviews, Puerto Rico, Tournaments, World Baseball Classic and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.