August 24, 1981 |
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
|June 30, 2010 for the Texas Rangers|
Last MLB appearance
|July 5, 2010 for the Texas Rangers|
(through 2010 season)
|Earned run average||9.00|
Beltre received a $600,000 bonus, the largest the Rangers have ever given a Latin American teen, to sign with the club as a non-drafted free agent on March 1, 2000. He was assigned to the Gulf Coast League Rangers, and went 5–4 with a 3.54 earned run average and 44 strikeouts in his first professional season. He improved to 6–3 with a 3.38 ERA and 83 strikeouts for the Appalachian League's Pulaski Rangers in 2001, leading his team in both wins and strikeouts.
After sitting out the entire 2002 season with an injury, he returned to go 3–3 with a 2.39 ERA for the Midwest League's Clinton Lumber Kings in 2003. Having been used primarily as a starter up to that point, Beltre only made five starts in 2003, and made eleven appearances out of the bullpen.
Human trafficking ring
After going 5–5 with a 2.45 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 46 games (all in relief) with the Stockton Ports in 2004, Beltre earned his first invitation to Spring training. When he went to the U.S. embassy in January 2005 to pick up his work visa, consulate officials were waiting. According to the Rangers' information, consulate officials soon discovered an inordinate number of young minor league ballplayers had been married in a short period of time to women who had previously been denied visas, and it raised a red flag.
Beltre immediately admitted guilt to his involvement in a human trafficking ring, and was assured that he would likely only receive a one year exclusion, and that he would be able to reapply the following year. As it turned out, he was banned from entering the United States for five years, limiting him to winter ball, the Dominican Summer League and international tournaments.
Beltre has been dominant in the Dominican League, going 4–3 with a 1.12 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 104 innings pitched over the past three seasons. On February 12, 2010, he and pitcher Alexi Ogando, who was also involved in the human trafficking ring out of the Dominican Republic, were granted visas, and allowed to attend Spring training, arriving in the U.S. on the 16th. After spring training, he was assigned to the triple A Oklahoma City RedHawks of the Pacific Coast League, where he went 0–5 with a 2.39 ERA in fifteen games (five starts) before getting called up to the majors.
- "Role in fraud ruins dreams for Texas Rangers' prospects". Dallas News. March 9, 2009.
- T.R. Sullivan (February 12, 2010). "Texas prospects Beltre, Ogando obtain visas". MLB.com.
- Mike McCall (June 30, 2010). "Beltre's debut comes in key game vs. Angels". MLB.com.