"Let them play, let them play..."
or why Beckham should play 3rd base.
Everyone is talking about how Beckham is the White Sox’s second baseman of the future. However, after looking over our infield glut, it seems that 3rd base would be a much better fit and here’s why.
Beckham, a SS in college, cannot play shortstop in the majors because of Alexi Ramirez. There has been talk of Ramirez going to CF, but given his defense, that reminds me of Manny Ramirez trying to field a ball. Besides, we already have enough plus power minus defense outfielders in Quentin and Dye. If SS is his best defense position, he should play shortstop to limit his possibility of errors.
That leaves us with 2b and 3b.
At 2b, the recent rash of injuries has people thinking Beckham’s rising ability would be perfect there, especially given his outstanding spring performance so far. However, the question should not be whether Beckham should play 2b or 3b since he would be spectacular at both, but who you would prefer to keep as the remaining starter, Getz or Fields.
The answer is Chris Getz by a mile.
Here are nine reasons why:
Getz has better defense.
Getz can run, as exhibited by his in the park homer, Fields is a slow middle of the lineup hitter.
Getz has better base discipline. Less frustrating strike outs.
Getz actually earned his call up in 08, while Fields was called up to replace Crede and lost his job again to Uribe.
Getz fills the no 2 spot nicely with his speed and discipline. Fields fills the no 9 spot nicely.
People are considering a Fields/Beatmit platoon for this season. If Fields needs a platoon with Beatmit to be effective, then we need a new third baseman.
Getz cancels out the Punto factor.
People should not even mention Beckham at 2b because Getz may feel blocked and lose confidence or give up. Let the guy play first.
In fact, the only thing Fields has over Getz is power, and the Sox have enough of that already.
Viciedo will not play 3b in the future. He is not the second coming of Alexi Ramirez. Reports have him as a 1b/DH type prospect for his hitting. His defense and fitness however, are atrocious.
"His body could go the same route as Livan Hernandez, and when I saw him in Mexico, he wasn’t very good at third base anymore," one international scouting director said. "But he can really hit; in fact, I think he’s probably a better hitter than Villalona."
Another scout who had seen Viciedo was less enthused about him as a player, pegging him as a first baseman-only hitter with a bad body. "You know everybody liked Kendry Morales," the scout said, referring to the Angels’ Cuban DH/first baseman, "and he had some other tools. But his body’s gone south and he’s pretty much just a DH. So I think it’s premature to get too excited about this guy."
However, Viciedo could fill in the DH nicely next year after Jim Thome leaves. This would allow Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye to stay where they are for one more year so Brandon Allen and Danks/Shelby can improve in the minors more. Kenny Williams will not get a FA for any of the just mentioned above positions because he has already repeated multiple times this offseason we are cutting down on payroll and relying on the system more.
That leaves us with... Beckham!
Here is my rosy scenario. Getz and Fields play 2b and 3b respectively in 09. Getz plays strong defense, draws a couple of walks and runs a few base paths. Fields starts the whole season, stays healthy, plays decent defense and slugs a few. Beckham tears it up in the minors. After the season, the White Sox tout Fields as a ready to start, cheap, young third base man and trade him for some prospects. Beckham takes his role and is an automatic improvement on defense and offense, and no speed is lost by blocking Getz.
If you worry about Beckham being less effective at third base, let me remind you that Alex Rodriguez and Chipper Jones were both drafted as top shortstops. Both are super star third basemen now.
Beckham becomes the next great third base man in our long line of third baseman and our infield would be a lock for the next 10 years with Konerko/Allen, Getz, Ramirez, and Beckham.