Beltre is regarded by scouts and defensive metrics as a premier defensive third baseman, perhaps the best in baseball, and his arrival gives the Red Sox their best infield defense in memory
In both 2007 and 2008, Beltre won the American League Gold Glove award at third base after recording fielding percentages of .958 (2007) and .964 (2008).
The statistic Ultimate Zone Rating -- a complex but increasingly well-regarded measure of how many runs above or below average a player saves with his defense -- indicates that Beltre is a truly elite defender at third base.
He had a UZR of 14.3 last season, and 12.7 in 2008. His career best came during his sensational final year in LA, when he was 23.1 runs above average defensively.
Getty Graphic / Otto Greurle Jr.