Buying it like Beckham

If you listened to the Starbonell Station podcast you may remember a few things; I am fascinated by Jose Canseco’s twin brother, Ozzie, and I don’t mind the average price tag on Gordon Beckham. Unlike Ozzie, Gordon didn’t spend much time in the minors, making the jump to the major leagues after 59 games. Playing 103 in the bigs, he hit .270 with 14 HR and 7 SB. Obviously, he is impressive and his rookie season was great. From June 4th going forward, Beckham was the 8th best Second Baseman. [Baseball Monster] When looking over his month-to-month stats at Fangraphs, I notice a few things.

A slow start: It makes sense to see a, 23 years, young rookie struggle in the early going before making adjustments and improving. Beckham was caught stealing 3 times in his first 4 attempts; he went on to steal 6 out of 7 after June. He was swinging at pitches outside the zone more often in June than any other month. His Isolated Power was .120 in June, compared to .196 in July, .170 in August and .226 in Sept/Oct.

August Contact Problems: Beckham’s month-to-month K% is like a Six Flags rollercoaster ride. We get a small hill right away (17.3% in June), go down down the hill (14.4% in July), right before ascending the big hill (21.2% in August) and coming back down (14.9% in Sept/Oct) for the finish. When I checked out Beckham’s Plate Discipline statistics for the month of August, I found he had major contact issues. His Contact% was only 75.8% compared to 82.7% in June, 80.2% in July and 83.5% in Sept/Oct. His O-Contact% was only 50.0%, compared to 64.9%, 64.0% and 58.3 in the other threes months. His Zone Conact% was 82.8%, compared to 89.6%, 86.4%, 94.0%. So basically, he just couldn’t put the bat on the ball no matter where it went.

He shall overcome: Beckham has a history of making adjustments, as his swing in college used to be “freakin’ ugly“. He overcame the slow start, hitting .330 in July after a .267 AVG in June. He not only solved his contact problems after a horrific August, but he showed a burst of power. He hit 6 HR in Sept/Oct, playing less games in Sept/Oct than he did in July and August. He improved his base stealing. He did all this and there is reason to believe he will overcome an unlucky 2009 season. Beckham’s BABIP was a fugly .256 in August and .257 in Sept/Oct. Two out of four months his BABIP beat up on his Batting AVG.

Beckham is a great 2B option; I wouldn’t dream of using him at 3B. I have him projected to hit .287 with 21 HR and 14 SB; which pains me, because I am a Twins fan. I would dub him Gordon Back Hams, but I’m not so sure he will be a South Sider by season’s end. The Padres will likely be asking for him and Kenny Williams isn’t afraid to wheel n deal. I can’t imagine the White Sox even acknowleding Beckham trade talks, so any quotes can be easily dismissed.

From [Fanball] newbreakers:

According to the Chicago Tribune, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen difused any rumors about including Gordon Beckham in a future trade.

Our View: “We plan to have Gordon for a long time,” Guillen said. Every trade the White Sox want to make, people think they’re going to make with the White Sox involves Gordon, Gavin Floyd and John Danks. Those names are going to come up. And we have to deal with that every time they talk about the White Sox trying to make a deal. We got to stay on our toes. There’s nothing out there.” He could be posturing here, because we think the Sox would give the moon and the stars for Adrian Gonzalez. Beckham is safe in Chi-town for the time being, but people might change their tune around July when the trade deadline is looming.

Adrian Gonzalez is going somewhere, Jake Peavy is lobbying to be reunited with his former teammate, Kenny Williams is camped in front of the San Diego office doors to be first in line for their slugger and Gordon Beckham will not be on any of my H2H teams. Adrian Gonzalez will be, but that’s another story. Roto leagues; I will likely take the plunge because I have him projected at Bill James heights, maybe even higher.

Gordon is a popular pick among some people and he will often be nominated after the top 12 Second Baseman. You could get burned thinking you’re going to land him later in the draft only to find out a few people saved money for him. You’re left wondering if Scott Sizemore is Grady Sizemore’s brother and praying Freddy Sanchez’s middle name isn’t Dirty. My goal will be to nominate him after Aaron Hill. This way, I can try to establish a base for Beckham’s price and leave myself with plenty of options if the price is too rich. I know I am the Million Dollar Sleeper, but even I have my limits. While there is no way I’ll land him in an Andy Behrens league, I wouldn’t feel too uncomfortable Buying it like Beckham for $15-$18.