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A Closer Look: White Sox Infielder Gordon Beckham

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White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham was hyped during the offseason as the next Chase Utley after his solid rookie season which saw him go 14-63-7-.270-.347-.460 in 378 at bats. Many, including me, ranked him high in pre-season draft rankings. I ranked him as a third baseman since he did not have eligibiiity at second base on draft day. I stated here that I would have ranked him as the #3 second baseman if he had eligibility on draft day.

So far this season, Beckham has been a huge disappointment. In 199 at bats, he has hit just .206-.285-.256 with one HR and 12 RBIs. So what happened to Beckham?

His walk rate of 8.4% is slightly below 2009's walk rate of 9.5%, and his K-rate of 20% is higher than his 2009 K-rate of 17%. His BABIP of .252 is a little low when compared to his 2009 BABIP of .290. What stands out for me is his ISO of just .050 this year. Last year his ISO was .190 and he had 43 extra base hits in his 378 at bats. This year he has just 8 XBH in 199 at bats. 

HIs batted ball stats tell us he is hitting the ball on the ground way too much. His GB% is 51% this year vs 40% last year. As a result his FB% is down to 33% from 43% last year. The one positive in his batted ball stats is he is still hitting line drives at a 16% clip.

Finally, looking at his plate discipline, we see he is swinging at alot of pitches outside the zone. He is swinging at 30% of balls outside the zone this season vs 25% in 2009. 

In reviewing Beckham's minor league stats, we see he has always hit for a solid SLG%-around.500-and his ISO has always been around .190. With that said, I can see Beckham turning things around this year, especially playing in the hitters park that is US Cellular Field.

But, at this point, one must sit Beckham until he can prove his slump is over. If I were bailing in an AL keeper league, I would look to deal for Beckham now before he starts hitting and his value increases.