Chicago White Sox: Gordon Beckham Gets His Groove Back at Bat with Wheaties?

Jon FromiSenior Analyst IDecember 16, 2011

Gordon Beckham is looking to bounce back from two disappointing seasons.
Gordon Beckham is looking to bounce back from two disappointing seasons.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago White Sox invested a first round draft selection in 2008 in second basemen Gordon Beckham. Being prepared to perform from a nutritional perspective shouldn't be too much for the team to expect.

When you end the season as one of the league's worst hitters, as Beckham did in 2011, anything is susceptible to review. Even the breakfast table.

As Beckham told's Scott Merkin this week, he lost about 20 pounds over the course of the season.

"Eating breakfast will go a long way to keeping weight on," said Beckham, who felt he came into camp "a little heavy and puffy" last year and wants to be around 195 this February. "I like to sleep, and sometimes I would sleep too late and not get breakfast."

"Part of the reason I lost that weight was because of my performance. When I don't hit well and don't do that kind of stuff, I don't eat. I have no appetite. It was one of those things, I don't know, bad year all the way around, on the field, off the field. But I think getting up and having a routine will help me keep weight on."

Would a bowl of Grape Nuts or an omelet get the young infielder on track at the dish in 2012?

It would be nice to think that it will be as simple as that. Beckham's 2011 season was one to forget at the plate.

This past year saw Beckham play in more games than in either of the previous two seasons. However, that did not result in an increase in production with the bat.

Beckham was handy with the glove in 2012 despite his offensive struggles.
Beckham was handy with the glove in 2012 despite his offensive struggles.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

In 557 plate appearances, Beckham posted career lows in batting average (.230), onbase percentage (.296) and RBI (44). He did hit 10 homers after just nine the season before, but it was a dismal campaign at the plate for a player who projected to be a second hitter in the lineup.

He started the season in the two hole, but was dropped after batting .222 in his first 18 games in 2012. He had his average as high as .255 in July before hitting .198 in the season's final two months.

Defensively, Beckham continues to develop into a fine second baseman. Can he figure things out in the batter's box and fulfill the promise of the eighth selection in the 2008 draft?

It looks like the White Sox will give him the chance to do that. When Beckham arrived to the majors in 2009, he had a confidence that seemed excessive even for a big league greenhorn. He obviously needs to reclaim that swagger against opposing pitchers.

"I've always played hard, but last year there was too much bad that was in and around me," Beckham told Merkin. "I wasn't good about throwing that away, but now I have a different attitude where I'm not allowing myself to fail. The only way you can change it is to change your mindset and attitude and how you feel and I've done that in the offseason."

Beckham has even gone so far as to talk to captain Paul Konerko, who also struggled early in his big league career, about what he needs to do to become the player he wants to be.

Hopefully Paulie dispenses some wisdom that helps, as a lot of us would like to see Beckham blossom into a bigger contributor to the team.