Gordon Beckham was a star again for the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday. He hit a run-scoring single in the fourth inning. Then, in the sixth inning, Beckham essentially closed the deal by hitting a three-run homer. His season-long averages don't show it, but after two years, Beckham is starting to become a threat in the White Sox lineup.
Beckham now has nine home runs and 31 RBI. Those don't seem like great numbers, but they're solid for a second baseman. He's on track for 21 home runs and 73 RBI, both of which would be career highs. He's one off his home run total from last season and five off his career high set in 2009.
He's hitting a home run every 27.6 at-bats, which is 0.6 off his rookie rate.
Beckham's season-long slash line remains hideous (.238/.290/.389); however, he's rebounded very well from a slash line of .153/.231/.203 in April. In May, he had an acceptable on-base percentage of .310 to go with a nice slugging percentage of .435. This month, Beckham has a decent on-base percentage of .338 to go with a .446 slugging percentage.
His run production has also increased in the last two months. After driving in just two runs in April, Beckham drove in 12 in May and has driven in 17 this month.
The slick-fielding infielder was lacking at the plate in his previous two years. In 2010, he had nine home runs and 49 RBI to go with a .695 OPS. In 2011, he had 10 home runs and 44 RBI to go along with a .633 OPS and a measly .296 on-base percentage that year.
If Beckham can keep up the improvement he's shown in the last two months, he'll be a rare second baseman who is solid both offensively and defensively. A second baseman who can hit home runs and turn clutch double plays.
Additionally, Beckham will be arbitration eligible after this season. If he can show that he can be effective at the plate, then he could earn himself a little more money.
Beckham will be one to watch down as he continues to amp up his game. If he keeps up his good play, he could put the White Sox in position to be contenders down the stretch.
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