There’s been a debate going recently around the Dallas / Midwest Sports Fans office about which rookie is better: Elvis Andrus or Gordon Beckham. Jerod had his post defending his boy Gordon, while I had my own post arguing for the case of Elvis Andrus.
The debate breaks down to a fundamental issue: Elvis is better in the field (with the ceiling of an absolutely elite defensive shortstop) while Gordon can flat out rake at the plate. The questions arise on the opposite ends of the spectrum with Elvis’ offense (Jose Reyes, Edgar Renteria-esque at his peak) and Gordon’s defense (improving, but not spectacular).
Most people would probably take Gordon because of the gap in the offense, but Elvis will probably end up being an above-average offensive player as a leadoff hitter with an average in the .280-.290 range. Could be headed for a season with 50 stolen bases at some point in his career (already more than 20 this year).
But everyone around here knows about Beckham’s potential, which quite frankly is scary. He already strikes me as a fan of another AL team as a guy I do NOT want to see come up in a big spot, and I think he’s only going to increase that reputation as a middle-of-the-order threat.
The one definitive advantage Elvis has is his age. Gordon is 22 years old, meaning he’s got a lot of time to improve. Elvis, though, is still 20 for about three more weeks. While it’s not a huge gap between the two, Elvis still could get a lot better as his body matures along with Gordon.
In the end, neither choice is wrong. Both are spectacular players and Jerod mentions in the Dallas Sports Fans post that if Gordon stays at third base, there might come an All-Star Game with Elvis starting at SS and Gordon starting at 3B. That would be quite a dynamic left side of the infield.
Here’s some more links as you trudge through the week:
College Football Relegation Mock Draft (ESPN)
How does Allen Iverson not have a job? (Barkley’s Mouth)
More Arbitrarily-Chosen Power Rankings (Major League Jerk) **Totally because of the movie line at the Padres spot**
The beatdown: Ryan vs. Ventura (ESPN)