Has Gordon Beckham Beat The Sophomore Slump?
Gordon Beckham's sophomore slump looks as if it is finally turning around and for the White Sox it couldn't have come any sooner. Beckham batted a depressing .208 with only two home runs over the first three months of the season, which led many to believe the 2009 AL Rookie of the Year candidate would need to take a step down to the minors.
But so far in July, Beckham has started his ascension back to where he was in 2009. He is hitting .333 this month while matching his previous three month total in home runs in consecutive games. The White Sox are right in the hunt in the Al Central and are looking for a power bat via trade, but Gordon's recent production could save them a few prospects.
Hats off to Ozzie Guillen who has been struggling to keep the former Georgia Bulldog in the line-up and his patience seems to have finally paid off. Beckham was nearing the end of the stick and was slowly being supplanted by Omar Vizquel. The 43 year old Vizquel, known for his defense, was a better solution than Gordon Beckham's swing in the batting order.
In one of the worst sophomore slumps in recent history, Guillen stayed cautiously optimistic along with Becks himself. Guillen talked about having to bench the Sophomore, " Just because he's out of the line-up, doesn't mean he is off the team.", letting everyone know that he hadn't lost faith.
The comments from Beckham himself represented the very meaning of the phrase 'cool under pressure', " Eventually, I know I'm going to be contributing enough to help the team win".
Beckham's calm has paid off and it could be interesting to see if he can improve on the campaign he put together during the last half of the 2009 season. However, in the year of the pitcher, this isn't the best environment for a hitter to swing his way out of a slump.
Gordon is the future for the White Sox and his production will be key from here out. Plus, it better for him to produce when it counts then to have an excellent season and squander it in the playoffs.
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