The 2010 season was supposed to be the breakout year for the 2009 Rookie of the year runner-up, Gordon Beckham. Instead Gordon was demoted from the #2 spot in the order to the # 9 spot and was hitting a lowly .196 in the first 2 months in the season. He could never seem to get anything going. Gordon was in the midst of the dreaded “Sophomore Slump”.
What went wrong?
Gordon said of his 2010, “When I didn’t immediately meet those expectations, I kind of went into panic mode”, Expectations that possibly were set to high for the second year player. Like taking the reins from Captain Paul Konerko as the clubhouse leader or being asked to hit in an unfamiliar spot in the batting order or moving positions from shortstop in College and the Minors to 3rd in 2009 to second in 2010. Whatever the case, Gordon admitted the problems were mostly mental.
Gordon seemed to struggle with the strike Zone swinging at 32.1% of pitches outside the strike zone up from 24.7% also his power numbers struggled as his Home run to flyball ratio went from 10.4% in 2009 to 6.9% in 2010 and his flyball rate fell from 43% to 37% in 2010.
What can be expected?
Gordon played worse in 2010 than at any point in his life, he said. It isn’t farfetched to believe that Gordon could do better. Gordon’s 2010 finish suggests the mental issues have ended. He hit .310 over his final 213 at-bats to finish the season at a respectable .252, taking in to account where it was earlier in the season.
I would fully expect for Gordon to move toward his career averages. It is hard to determine the career averages of somebody with such a small sample size but there are some assumptions that can be made based on his past performances such as, Gordon Beckham is not a high strike out guy never having a k% higher than 17.2 you would have to assume that his 2010 20.7% will fall. Also, he has more power than 9 Home runs. In 2009 he converted 10.4% of flyballs to Homers in 2010 it was at 6.9%