Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Predictions Review: Tim Beckham

Back in March, we polled the Rays blogosphere for predictions about the 2009 season in the minors. Now that it's September and the minor-league seasons are drawing to a close, it's time to take a look back and laugh at stupid things we all said. We continue today with predictions about Tim Beckham. Again, the panelists were: Cork Gaines from RaysIndex, Tommy Rancel and R.J. Anderson from DRaysBay, the RaysParty gang, Tyler Hissey from AroundTheMajors, Brickhaus from all over the place, and Doug and I from this site.

The question I sent out for this was: "What kind of season do you see Tim Beckham having in 2009?" You can view the original post with everyone's full answers here.

Just about everybody had some iteration of the same answer: He won't be overmatched but he won't dominate. A smattering:
He will probably be fine, but he is definitely a work in progress.

A progressive one, if not overly impressive statistically.

Beckham is still very raw, of course, and will have his fair share of struggles at full-season ball.

He'll have a learning season. I think he'll be slightly above-average for league (which, on the face of his stats, will look pretty mediocre)
And that's just about what happened. In 125 games for Bowling Green, he posted a .275/.328/.389 line. To me, there are a few troubling things about Beckham at this point. First and most importantly are the whispers that he may have to move off of shortstop. He finished the season with a whopping 43 errors, and while that isn't entirely uncommon of a young shortstop, it's a little worrisome. Second is his plate approach: He drew only 34 walks all season against 116 strikeouts, and actually got worse in this department in the second half of the season.

On the plus side, he was among the SAL leaders in doubles, and as he develops, some of those should turn into homeruns. And I'm not quite sure what to make of this, but Beckham was a much, much better hitter on the road in 2009:
Home: .223/.280/.287
Road: .328/.376/.492

That's a difference of exactly .300 OPS points, which is staggering. Again, I'm not sure what to make of this. Perhaps Bowling Green was an extreme pitcher's park(though it's worth noting Isaias Velasquez and Anthony Scelfo were much better hitters at home). We'll see when minor-league park factors are released, but it's worth keeping in mind.

If 1 was a majorly disappointing season and 10 was an incredible breakout season, I would rate Beckham's 2009 a 4, slightly disappointing, mainly for the still-unrefined plate approach.

1 comment:

  1. In addition to your comments regarding Beckham it should be pointed out that He is not very good on the base paths. He was successful on 13 of 23 steal attempts but was picked off numerous times. As for his fielding not only did He commit allot of errors but his range is not that good. Other teams shortstops routinely got to balls that went through for base hits against Beckham.