Joe Maddon offers some praise for Tim Beckham…
“[Beckham] cut down on his errors last year, he’s started swinging the bat better, he’s got a different body. He looks really good. He’s
growing up. … He’s getting rid of all that baby fat, he’s really leaning up. He just looks different. I’ve always loved his personality,
though. He definitely has an ingratiating personality. I could see him as he continues to get better as a player, the personality and the
skill level are going to match up.”
This is all promising to hear, but we can’t help but wonder if it is it too little, too late? This will mark his fourth professional season at the age of 21. And JoeMa makes it sound as if Beckham is starting from scratch. If true, Beckham still has a shot at being a contributing member of the Rays organization. But it also means we may not see him in the big leagues for another 3-4 years.
In other words, Reid Brignac’s job is safe for a while. At least until he starts making more money. And even then, the next shortstop of the Rays might be Hak-Ju Lee, who came the Rays in the Matt Garza deal.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Daniel Mayora and Joe Inglett are the only two players that have yet to report. Both are expected to be in camp today.
- Jeremy Hellickson still has a sore hamstring, but says it is feeling better. [The Heater]
- There is reason to hope that Juan Cruz could be the next Joaquin Benoit. [TampaBay.com]
- Joe Maddon and Stuart Sternberg both talk about other teams emulating what the Rays do and trying to stay ahead of the curve. [TampaBay.com]
- Marc Topkin on the off-season adventures of Ben Zobrist and Elliot Johnson. [The Heater]
- Rays Renegade has the info on the Rays’ giveaways for the upcoming season. Does anybody want a Manny Ramirez bobblehead?…Holy crap, Manny Ramirez plays for the Rays! We think it just hit us. [Rays Renegade]
- David Price hopes to be able to work deeper into games this year by throwing fewer pitches each inning. His goal is to become the best pitcher in baseball. [USA Today]
- Marc Topkin recalls some of the better “Manny being Manny” moments. [TampaBay.com]
- Forbes.com calls David Price one of the best pitchers in baseball “for the buck.” [Forbes]
- Nick Cafardo ranks Joe Maddon as the fifth best manager in baseball. [Boston.com]
- John Sickels looks at some of the Rays’ lesser-known pitching prospects that could emerge as top prospects. [Minor League Ball]
- Carl Crawford thinks the Green Monster can help him win a batting title. [NESN]