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Carlos Beltran and #AlwaysIgnoreApril

It's my own seldom-used hashtag, but I've been railing against taking the season's first month too seriously all year. Let's talk about that.

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

I've been on something of a crusade the last few months to "#AlwaysIgnoreApril" when it comes to player evaluation. Obviously, that's not accurate, as April counts just as much as May, July and September. A guy who hits .127 in April is starting your season at a deficit, and that deficit is real even if he hits .721 after that (though, personally, I'd take that trade).

Really, my point when I say to ignore April is just to remember not to give April any extra weight. When April ends, it is the only data we have, so we start to form opinions, even if they may be premature or incomplete. After May, no one (more or less) cuts out just the May stats to form new opinions on a player; we look at the combined April-May statistics, which still include whatever hot or cold start that player had. After June, we look at April-May-June. And so on. April is always included, even if the player turns over a new leaf a month into the season. A hot or cold June just doesn't carry the same anecdotal weight.

Which brings me to Carlos Beltran. At the end of April, Beltran was hitting .162/.216/.265 with no home runs and only seven RBI. People were discussing him in the past tense. I think I saw an "RIP" somewhere.

Well, since the end of April, Beltran has played in 66 games (sandwiched around an early July DL stint). He's hit .295/.359/.504, and has 10 home runs, which is 10 more than he had in the first month. Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira have gotten the attention for the Yankees, but Beltran has been right there with them (and as the rest of the team has slumped in August, he has a 1.053 OPS).

According to ESPN's average draft results, Beltran went off the board at pick 226, barely draftable. On the back of that awful start to the season, today he's still only 24-percent owned in Yahoo! fantasy leagues.

Remember, when I say to #AlwaysIgnoreApril, I don't mean ignore April. I just mean don't give April any extra weight. It's a good way to miss out on a guy who, for whatever reason, gets hot in May. Pick a guy up then, and you get the good stats and miss out on those bad ones. Beltran is a key example. He took his sweet time getting going, but now he's, you know, still Carlos Beltran.