Tim Beckham’s numbers aren’t there yet, but in this Adam Berry piece, Mitch Lukevics (Director of Minor League Operations) says that it is not due to a lack of effort. He also still sounds confident that Beckham will mature into big leaguer…

Lukevics pointed to a lengthy list of good things about the shortstop, especially drawing attention to his intangibles. The 6-foot, 190-pound Beckham is a potential five-tool player, but Lukevics praised his coachable attitude and strong work ethic more than anything…”I don’t care who you are, when you come into this game, you come in with some type of attitude. In order to have success, you have to have that cocky confidence,” Lukevics said. “Tim has all the intangibles, Tim has all the physical skills to be a Major League player, and he’s going to have to stay after it.

One of the most common questions we get is whether it is too early to start calling Beckham a “bust.” Looking at his numbers we can’t blame the fans for having their doubts.

Definitely nothing yet to get excited about. But there are some things that suggest it isn’t as bad as it seems.

His nearly 50-point drop in batting average this season can be explained by his 60-point drop in batting average on balls in play (BABIP .352 in ’09, .291 in ’10). In other words, last year he was getting the lucky bounce more often. Of course that just tells us that his batting average in 2009 might have been a little bloated. But at least he isn’t regressing this year. That can be seen in his similar wOBAs for 2009 and 2010. Also, his increased walk rate without a big jump in strikeouts is encouraging and suggests that Beckham is starting to get a better command of the strikezone.

But there are still red flags. We would like to see a player with Beckham’s skillset getting on base more than 35% of the time. And of course he needs to get that wOBA closer to .400 than .300.

But there is still hope. Tim Beckham is still only 20-years old playing in the Florida State League. He is almost two years younger than any other position player on the Stone Crabs roster. And remember, the ideal age for promoting a prospect to the big leagues is 24. So there is still plenty of time for Beckham to develop.

Still, we would like to see some progress. Unless he makes big strides in the second-half of this season, Beckham will likely start the 2011 season back in Charlotte. But if Beckham isn’t showing stark improvement by this time next year, then we might start tossing around the b-word.

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7 Comments

  1. Joe D. says:

    The Rays only had 2 maybe 3 legit guys to take at this pick, Beckham, Pedro Alvarez, and Buster Posey, and the Rays wanted the young HSer with the big up side and that's exactly who they got, and they knew he'd be a work in progress.

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  2. Jordi says:

    Don't forget, he can't fix a copy machine either. Hopefully he works on that. But he has time, the ideal age for a copy repairman is 32.

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  3. John G says:

    Gosh that whole Buster Posey thing horrible right now. Could you imagine having him in the arsenal right now? Difference of a couple games throughout a season and in this division that will be huge.

    There have been some dark marks on the "baseball's best GM" and this one could one of the biggest. I mean Cantu, not getting anything for Hamilton, etc are looking horrible right now.

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    • Alex says:

      Gomes too....but then again you have to look at what they have gotten for almost nothing and how well they have drafted while teams like the Royals and Pirates still suck.

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  4. Brendan says:

    Whats the reference to Cantu? He hit .249 in 2006. He didn't do squat in spring training in 2007 and demanded a trade when they sent him down to Durham. In the 20 something games he played for the rays in 2007 he hit .206 and has the range of a light pole. Do you think they would have had a place for him in 2008? They didn't get squat for him but he would have been cut regardless. He definitely wouldn't have made they team this year.

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