Tampa Bay Rays: Randy Arozarena looking to join historic playoff club

Randy Arozarena of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates after hitting a solo home run against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning in game one of the American League Championship Series at PETCO Park on October 11, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Randy Arozarena of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates after hitting a solo home run against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning in game one of the American League Championship Series at PETCO Park on October 11, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Carlos Beltran – 2004

At the start of the 2004 campaign, Carlos Beltran was a talented five-tool player stuck on a bad Kansas City Royals team. His career narrative changed that season after being traded to the Astros in June.

Beltran blossomed after the trade and hoisted his name to a superstar level. In 90 games with Houston in 2004, Beltran hit .258 with 23 home runs, 53 RBIs, and 28 stolen bases. Down the stretch, the Astros went 36-10 and clinched the NL Wild Card on the final day of the regular season.

Of course, the story gets better. Just two seasons after Bonds did the unthinkable with eight postseason home runs, Beltran matched his mark.

Beltran was unconscious in the NLDS and NLCS. He hit two home runs in the NLDS game five clincher over the Atlanta Braves. In the first four games of the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals, Beltran went deep once in each game.

Throughout 12 games in the 2004 postseason, Beltran .435 with eight homers, six steals, 14 RBIs, and a .536 OBP in 12 games. Despite his brilliance, Beltran was unable to hit any long balls in the final three games of the NLCS. St. Louis won games six and seven earning a World Series matchup against the Boston Red Sox.