2011 Fantasy Baseball: Why Gordon Beckham Is a Sleeper

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2011 Fantasy Baseball: Why Gordon Beckham Is a Sleeper
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Gordon Beckham’s 2010 season was riddled with inconsistencies and injuries. 

In the first half of 2010, Beckham hit only .216 with three home runs. He was flirting with Mr. Mendoza the whole month of June, hitting .199 as late as June 23.

Beckham flipped a switch in the 13 games prior to the All-Star break hitting .310 with two home runs. He continued that pace for the rest of the year with a .310 avg, six home runs, 27 runs batted in and 23 runs, in 171 at bats.

A hand injury limited him severely in September to a .188 AVG and zero home runs in only 32 at bats.

It’s difficult to say why he slumped so bad in the first half of the season. It helped when Ozzie Guillen dropped him in the lineup.

Beckham started out in the No. 2 spot where he hit for a .186 AVG  on the year. When he hit out of the nine hole he hit .286 AVG with eight home runs. Beckham explained it like this;

“The way I have dissected the whole situation, there was a lot put on my plate from myself and others,” Beckham said about his 2010 performance. “When I didn’t hit immediately, mentally I went into panic mode. That happens, but it won’t happen again.”

“It’s one of those things where I got in a bad place and was mentally frustrated and mentally tired. If there was any mechanical flaws, we fixed those. Once I got out of my own way it was easy.” Beckham said.

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Gordon Beckham seemed to be a little unlucky in the first half of the year. In the season’s first three months, Beckham’s BABIP, line drive percentage, fly ball percentage and home run per fly ball were all very low, while his ground ball percentage was too high.

See chart below:

Month BABIP LD% GB% FB% HR/FB% AVG HR
April .269 14.9 49.3 35.8 4.2 .235 1
May .206 17.7 51.6 30.6 0.0 .159 0
June .271 15.5 46.5 38 3.7 .233 1
July .400 20.9 40.3 38.8 11.5 .354 3
August .356 17.5 42.9 39.7 16 .309 4
September .261 19 38.1 42.9 0.0 .188 0

 

By looking at this chart, you can see how his production increased as he got more lift on the ball. Please keep in mind that in September he only had 32 at bats so this is a small sample size.  

Physically, Gordon Beckham states he is ready to go. We should see his power increase because of his offseason workout program. He has gained 15 pounds of muscle, marking the first time he has played at 200-plus pounds.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Beckham also took part in “Camp Cora” with A.J. Pierzynski, Juan Pierre, Alex Rios, Alexei Ramirez, Brent Morel, Ramon Castro and Dayan Viciendo. Bench coach Joey Cora and hitting coach Greg Walker held the camp in January.

Beckham has also stated that he has been working out with Juan Pierre to improve his stolen base habits. On the basepaths, I don’t expect him to set the world on fire, but he should improve on four stolen bases in 10 attempts. Low double-digit stolen bases is a real possibility.

Ozzie Guillen has stated he plans to bat Beckham second in the lineup. This should give him more opportunities to score runs while hitting behind Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn and Alex Rios.

Guillen said, “If I put A.J. batting second, then it’s two lefties (Pierre and Pierzynski) and all righties all the way down. The best scenario is Becks hitting there. Ramirez is an RBI guy. I don’t want to take the bat away from him.”

Beckham is having a good spring. As of March 27, he is hitting .323, three home runs, three stolen bases, 13 runs and 11 runs batted in with a .949 OPS in 65 at bats. 

Gordon Beckham’s current ADP is 225.1. He is being drafted after Asdrubal Cabrera (179.3), Adam LaRoche (193.6) Chipper Jones (204.6), Howie Kendrick (217.1) and Marco Scutaro (223.2).

Some 2B I believe to be over-valued are, Brandon Phillips (36.1), Rickie Weeks (42.2) and Chase Utley (23.6).

2011 Projection: .280 AVG, 90 R, 20 HR, 69 RBI, 13 SB


Previous Sleepers: Derrek Lee, Luke Scott

Brian "Killboy" Kilpatrick is a Senior Writer for 4thandHome.com where this, and other work, can be found. Additionally, he is co-host of The 4th and Home Show on Blog Talk Radio.

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