ARLINGTON - No doubt, Ron Washington said Wednesday.
Third baseman Adrian Beltre has what it takes to be a Hall of Fame contender, and will certainly go down as one of the best third basemen Washington has ever seen in all of his years in baseball.
"He's right there," Washington said. "He could be No. 1, he could be No. 3, he could be No. 2. He's right there."
But despite Washington's thoughts and Beltre's play, as of Sunday the third baseman was more than a million votes behind Josh Donaldson of the Athletics in All-Star voting for AL third basemen.
Donaldson had 2,436,771, while Beltre had 1,346,957.
Those numbers could change after Beltre hit career hit No. 2,500 Tuesday night against the Tigers. Fans had until Wednesday to vote at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Beginning Thursday, the rest of the voting will be done online.
Toronto's Jose Bautista led all outfielders with 3,665,208 votes.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 10:59 p.m. CT. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.
Beltre became the sixth player with a least 2,500 career hits as primarily a third baseman, since 1900.
But he's not one to get caught up in the statistics.
"For me what's more important is playing in the big leagues every day, being healthy enough," Beltre said. "I don't buy into all that stuff."
With the Rangers on a six-game losing streak, Beltre is more focused on helping his team get back on track.
But Washington said he knew that deep down, Beltre was proud of his accomplishment. For now, he's just masking the excitement.
"He may not show it simply because things aren't going good, but inside, he's having just as much joy about it as he would if he were able to show it," Washington said. "I don't think Beltre's the kind of guy to show it anyway -- but oh yeah. He enjoyed it. That doesn't come along every now and then."
Washington said he'd put Beltre in the same category as third basemen Mike Schmidt, George Brett, and Brooks Robinson, but that there's still more to come from Beltre.
"His career isn't over," Washington said. "He's still got numbers to add."
Grace Raynor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.