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What’s wrong with Gordon Beckham?

Apr 17, 2012, 1:18 PM EDT

Gordon Beckham AP

Gordon Beckham was the eighth overall pick in the 2008 draft after a standout college career at Georgia, made quick work of the minors before debuting for the White Sox in mid-2009 at age 22, and hit .270 with an .808 OPS as a rookie.

He looked like a potential star and at the very least a long-term building block for the White Sox, but in two-plus seasons and 289 total games since then he’s hit just .237. And it’s getting worse, as his OPS dropped from .808 to .695 to .633, and so far this season Beckham is 3-for-26 (.115) with 11 strikeouts.

Hitting coach Jeff Manto told Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago that he’s working with Beckham to correct some poor mechanics:

What we are trying to do with him is slow his body down. He is really anxious right now. He is charging into balls and just mis-hitting them. The way we slow him down is keep him tall and make him believe what he has now is enough.

Levine notes that Manto was hired in part because general manager Ken Williams felt the team, and specifically Beckham, needed to hear a new voice after working with former hitting coach Greg Walker for so long. Low expectations for the White Sox in general and the lack of a top prospect waiting in the wings at second base should give Beckham a pretty long leash, but Manto definitely has a tough case on his hands.

  1. astrosfan75956 - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    White Sox need a new hitting coach, with Dunn, Beckham, and others.

    • jlovenotjlo - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:07 PM

      They just got a new one ya dolt

      • esracerx46 - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:08 PM

        Damn. you beat me to it. Maybe he wants a new one already?

  2. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    I hope Beckham can realize his talent 100%. Talk about a great Sox Pick-Me-Up if he does. That has to be extraordinarily aggravating for all involved.

  3. Ben - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    It’s not so much “what’s wrong with him” as he was never that good. He’s been pure regression since 2009. He’s swinging at more and more junk outside of the zone, which lead to a ton of strikeouts, and hits a ton of pop flies. Recipe for disaster.

    I’d venture to guess he didn’t get enough time in the minors since he looked so good out of college, and it’s come to haunt him.

    • esracerx46 - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:12 PM

      I’d lean more towards confidence being more of a factr than anything else. Confidence goes a long long way. If he was a bit more selective pitchers would have to throw him better pitches. It sucks, because his defense is so good. Thats what is keeping him in the lineup at this point

      • Ben - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:41 PM

        Yeah, his defense is great. I mean, there is a reasonable argument against what I laid out above–he did have some really solid months last year, but he mostly looks like a headcase to me.

  4. jlovenotjlo - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Going to the game tonight, sitting behind the dugout. I’m going to ask Gordon the same question

    • Gordon - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:07 PM

      Please report back on the answer.

      • jlovenotjlo - Apr 20, 2012 at 5:49 PM

        Moved behind the Visitors On-Deck circle… Nothing to report…

  5. ruehlmann - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Amended for better accuracy:

    “Low expectations for the White Sox in general and the lack of a top prospect waiting in the wings at [ANYWHERE] should give Beckham a pretty long leash.”

  6. biasedhomer - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Maybe they should demote him to AAA to work out somethings. He still young, and it wouldnt hurt for him to tear up AAA and get his confidence.

  7. baseballisboring - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    I think “mis-hitting” is my new favorite word. A lot of mis-hitting going on in ChiTown these days.

    • baseballisboring - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:50 PM

      Mis-hitting is what happens when you mis-remember how to hit.

  8. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Trade Dunn and a sack of cash to the Yankees so Kevin Long can fix him. If Ibanez looks as good as he has so far, just imagine what he could do with the Donkey.

  9. jlovenotjlo - Apr 17, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    A certain Brent Lillibridge is waiting in the wings, with his .845 OPS and 13 home runs in 216 PA in 2011. He’s young, fast and has a good glove too, so play him over Beckham, Robin!

  10. detroitfanatic - Apr 17, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Still better than his brother from another mother Tim, the #1 overall pick that year.

  11. weaselpuppy - Apr 18, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    At least Inge hit for decent power for most of a decade…..this guy looks like he’ll be out of the bigs in 2 years

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