We're gonna take a break from filling out our brackets and talk about how Carlos Beltran is NOT that good. Let's look at his numbers, shall we?
Avg. OBP SLG OPS HR RBI R SB
2001 .306 .362 .514 .876 24 101 106 31
2002 .273 .346 .501 .847 29 105 114 35
2003 .307 .389 .522 .911 26 100 102 41
Those numbers are pretty good. But he's not the best player in baseball by any means. Probably not even top 10. OBP being the most important statistic, Beltran's 3-year average of about .370 is darn good but not spectacular. Hell, Biggio had a .350 OBP last year. Berkman shattered that with a .412 OBP... in an off year. Beltran's .515 SLG% is also decent, but not too far ahead of the pack. The Big Five all had comparable percentages last year. His homerun numbers are not too impressive, and he has yet to crack 30 in a season.
Stolen bases, as Jack will attest, are by far the least important baseball statistic. Statistically speaking, you're only helping your team if you can steal bases around 75% of the time. Beltran has stolen 150 bases and has gotten thrown out 20 times in his career, which is unheard of. Still, stolen bases are overrated.
Keep in mind that Beltran has been playing in the weakest division in baseball over the past 3-4 years. He's been teeing off on the kids from Detroit and Cleveland, and the rotations from Chicago and Minnesota don't scare anyone.
Also, Beltran plays a fairly deep position. Your average outfielder can give you a .750 or .800 OPS. Yes, centerfield is a much more defense-oriented position, but if Berkman can play there, anyone can.
The major thing he's got going for him is that he's turning 27 this April. So there's room for improvement.
So, in conclusion: Beltran is good. Ok, Beltran is even great, but he's not AMAZING. Like A-Rod amazing or Bonds amazing. Or Wade amazing.