With the 8th pick in the 2008 Major League Baseball entry Draft the Chicago White Sox select GORDON BECKHAM from the University of Georgia. When the Sox made this pick, many Sox were already calling for Gordon to be their savior. He had power, speed, and had a very good glove over at shortstop. Essentially he was a prospect that could really do anything.
Beckham spent the 2008 season in the Sox minor league system where he just begun to tear it up. Many Sox fans would have liked to see Beckham on Opening Day of 2009 but Ozzie Guillen thought it was much too soon. However, on June 5th the savior was brought up. It was a great day for the organization and their fans. Unfortunately it was not the start that anybody was expecting. Beckham started the season batting 0-10.
On June 8th against the Detroit Tigers Gordon Beckham helped the city of Chicago erupt as he belted a single into short right field for his first Major League hit. Here is the video I took first hand of the momentous occasion.
That was only the beginning of what was to become an excellent rookie season. Beckham played in 103 games as a member of the White Sox where he batted .270 belting out 14 home runs and 63 RBI. Gordon was walked 41 times and was hit by 6 pitches. This year young Beckham is batting just .204 with only 1 run home run and 12 RBI. His slugging percentage is below .300 and so is his on base percentage.
Gordon Beckham does seem to be getting the hang of this as he hit a double which was his first extra base hit in over 100 plate appearances.
Why do I think Gordon has struggled this year? Sophomore slump? No. Expectations too high? No.
The real problem with Gordon Beckham is he is going into his plate appearances trying to blast everything out of the ball park. Beckham must have had a child hood dream of being in the Home Run derby because every time he is batting he is taking huge hacks and is not being patient.
Many are calling for Beckham to be sent to the minors and when you look at how the Sox are playing could that really be a bad idea? I don’t think so. There are players like Jayson Nix who could take over for a period of time. Attacking Minor League hitters could be exactly what Gordon needs to get his confidence back. And when i say his confidence is hot its because of his body language.
Gordon has been striking out multiple times a game and he just seems psychologically deflated. Another perfect example is yesterday in the first inning against the Cubs. On a below average fast ball right down the middle from Ted Lilly, Beckham swung right through it. That made him mad and then after that pitch, all of his at bats consisted of him swinging hastily at everything.
It is only a matter of time before Gordon Beckham starts playing like last year, he is too talented to suck this much as of late. We’ll see if he turns it around.