I've been meaning to write about our boy, the White Sox savior, Gordon Beckham for some time now but have been waiting to see more at-bats to log my opinion. More than anything I wanted to address the anonymous reports given by a couple of scouts back when he was 0-13.
"He looks like a pretty good athlete," one scout said. "But he’s got to change his swing or (pitchers) are going to keep pounding him inside."
"The way his swing is, he’s got no chance right now," another scout said. "They’re going to keep working him in until he makes an adjustment."
I'm not going to disagree with them entirely. Beckham clearly has an inside-out, opposite field swing, the type you might expect to struggle with an inside fastball. But for me, that's the draw. When was the last time the White Sox had a right-handed batter who tried to use the whole field, who so obviously looked to go the other way? Magglio Ordonez is the last regular I can think of.
Beckham figures to be a complimentary piece to the current lineup of pull-happy sluggers (and Pods/Getz). He makes consistent, solid contact and hasn't appeared to be over-matched by any of the stuff he's seen thus far. He agrees.
"Look, no disrespect to the pitchers, they're getting me out and I'm not looking great up there," Beckham said. "But the stuff does not overmatch me. A lot of it is me getting myself out, and that's not good. I have to have good at-bats, get a pitch I can hit and square it up. After that I can't do much besides hit it, and where it goes, I don't know.
"I'm still over-energized, honestly. I get to the plate and in the back of my head I'm thinking, 'I haven't gotten many hits, get a hit.' Then the first pitch I see I'm going after it. I need to go up there and relax."
Yes, Beckham is going to have to prove that he can hit an inside fastball... with authority before he becomes a truly dangerous hitter. Once he shows he can step in the bucket, clear his hips and rope one into the White Sox bullpen... lookout.
Until then, I can live with the opposite field doubles hitter, who figures to hit for a high average once he finally gets settled and sees his BABIP luck even out.
Defensively, Beckham has been, um, fine. That he's not a natural third baseman is quite obvious. He had a couple rookie mistakes at 3B on Wednesday, doesn't really have the Joe Crede flop down, and even looks a bit awkward on most dives. But as the unnamed scout said, he's a good athlete and definitely has some good defensive fundamentals. To put it another way, he's just a baseball player (I had to.) Because of that, I believe he'll eventually turn himself into a plus-defensive 3B (if that does end up being his position) but he would seem to be a more natural fit at 2B right now.