Top Prospect – Gordon Beckham

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Junior/SS/University of Georgia

It is safe to say no player has earned more buzz that Gordon Beckham this year. The premier college middle infielder in this draft is shooting up draft boards. Here is the breakdown.

Career:

Freshman year: – Freshman All- American while playing in all 70 games at SS – hit .280 with 12 HR

Sophomore year: Hit 13 HR overall, while hitting .322 in SEC play

Cape Cod League: tied for league lead with 9 HR

Junior year: Up at the top of the list this year for college baseball’s best player. He has slowed down a bit, no doubt to being pitched around and seeing increased offspeed stuff.

Size/Projection:

Beckham is not the biggest of players, UGA has him listed at 6’0, 180. However, he is muscular and ripped. Wiry strong I would say. He could play at 6’0, 200 pounds without losing speed and mobility.

Beckham is just an all around solid prospect – nothing is great, but nothing is below average either.
Beckam is going to have to realize he is not a power hitter and change his approach and add some contact ability to his game. As mentioned earlier, he is a bit of a free swinger. To his defense, he IS that UGA lineup. He is hitting third and his team is depending on him to be their main power source.
With that said, he can hit for power (20 – 25 HR). However, at what cost? Is he going to hit .250 while doing it?
Either way, he projects to be an offensive 2B or SS. Playing 2B could move him into the all star level.

Swing/ Approach:

Despite the outstanding numbers and career, Beckham is not without flaws. Hitting, his swing is not picture perfect by any means. His bat is perpendicular with the ground (which makes his swing long, but gives him more bat speed). His high leg kick also gives him more power but leaves him a little off balance and he has a “funky” beginning to his swing.

Beckham had only walked 12 times in his first 100 Abs this year. He isn’t a hacker but he goes up there swinging. For example: against Miss State. He swings at the first pitch and fouls it off, then lays off two good pitches to work the count 2-1. Then swings at a good slider away that he cant do much with (fouls it off). So, instead of being 3-1 and knowing he is gonna get a FB, he is now 2-2.

While he is a free swinger, he has also only struck out 9 times this year. So, as he improves his approach, and shows a willingness to use all fields, he could hit .290 and drive in 20-25 HRs.

He is a little pull happy right now, he is going to have to accept some singles the other way.

Defense:

Defensively, the word is he can stay at SS. He wouldn’t be much better than average however. He moves laterally pretty well and has a solid arm, but he doesn’t jump out at you. I wonder how much his arm will play at SS down the road though.
Projection:

Comparisons:

How about a less defensively gifted Khalil Green?? I say Green’s offense with Michael Young’s defense. I think this is very fair in that both those players were good college ball players. Green hit for tons of power at Clemson and just hit 27 HRs playing at Petco…I am not saying Beckham will do that, but physically they are very similar as well.

His defense is similar to Young is that he is capable, but might lose a step and need to move to 2B later in his career.

His swing also reminds me of Miguel Tejada’s

Draft:

Jonathan Mayo over at MiLB Draft reported a rumor that the Pirates might be willing to take him 2nd. In other news, the Pirates are not aware that there is a state called Tennessee and there is a good baseball player down there that could change their franchise.

With that said, Beckham is tough to project because a lot of his value lies with if a team thinks he can stay at SS. If a team takes him top 10 I would imagine they are pretty confident he can stick there.

If it just me or does me make too much sense for the Giants at 5? (please refrain from citing Emanuel Burriss as a reason to not draft Beckham). Beckham has more HRs in 1 game this year than Burriss does in 3 seasons. Really, no team in the top 10 is in great shape at SS (assuming the Marlins trade HRAM). Assuming Crow or Alvarez do not drop, I think Beckham will be grabbed by the Giants.

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