icon_13915633If you have been hanging around these parts for a while, you know that the model for this site is to tell you what the Rays have done, what they are doing and try to project what they will do based on what we have learned. Think of RI as “Tampa Bay Rays 101.” However, for the next 12 days we will step away from the standard, and we present to you 12 “presents” the Tampa Bay Rays should give to their fans.

Without further ado…

On the ninth day of Raysmas, the Tampa Bay Rays gave to us, NINE STARTS FOR TIM BECKHAM AT SECOND BASE…

Any hope of Tim Beckham becoming a great player are long gone. At this point, the Rays would be thrilled if Beckham became a platoon-level player in the big leagues. And if that is going to happen, it will only happen at second base.

With the additions of Yunel Escobar (for the present) and Hak-Ju Lee (for the future), it is clear that Beckham’s future is no longer as a shortstop. On the other hand, the Rays will likely use several different players at second base in 2013, led by Ben Zobrist. But if Zobrist’s future is eventually as a full-time right fielder or first baseman as some believe, that could open the second base job as early as 2014.

And if the Rays want to know if Beckham can serve as part of a second base platoon next year, they need a closer look at him at some point this year.



  1. Don says:

    1st round draft choice with no place to play,sounds like a “toss in” player for a trade package….what could have been in that draft is a real shame.. on you AF…

    • Dave says:

      There is absoutley no sure thing in the baseball draft. It is more of a crapshoot than the NFL draft.
      Friedman has been one of the best the last several years so how anyone can go back and pick one scenario and complain is beyond me.

      • Cork Gaines says:

        Nobody is saying there is a sure-thing in the draft. The point was just that it is rare for a position player drafted #1 overall to completely bust. And while I agree that Friedman is one of the best GMs in baseball, he is not without his fair share of misses in the draft. In addition to Beckham, there was also LeVon Washington, Josh Butler, Will Kline, and Kenny Diekroger as 1st and 2nd round picks from ’06-’09.

      • Bobby C says:

        Anyone with a brain looked at that draft and there was no question that Buster Posey, was the number one player in the draft, problem was that we had a catcher Jaime Navarro, aka WHISKERS, and Poseys agent was scott Boras, thats the reason they did not consider him, they did not want to deal with Boras crap. Bad decision, yes, with Posey this team makes the post season last year, no question about it, Becham sucks, and there is no way to fix that.

  2. Rob says:

    I have to agree with Don on this one. Posey was a no brainer. A top flight catcher coming out of one of the best baseball programs in the country that also happens to be in your state and you pick a high school kid that plays shortstop?? How do you pass up on a #1 guy who plays the hardest position to fill.

    • Dave L says:

      No brainer? Its a MLB Draft including high school kids. There are no no-brainers. We werent the only teams who passed on Posey for some guy who dint pan out. Its a no-brainer in hindsight, all drafts are.

      Posey was demanding serious money. He could have failed its not a sure thing. In retrospect it is.

      • Rob says:

        Many people questioned the pick the day it was made, way before their respective performances proved it was the wrong one. Posey and Beckham received similar compensation and only three other teams passed on him (one of which was the O’s, who had picked Weiters the year before and were in good shape at the catcher position). Catcher was a position where we had/still have a big need and they went with a HS shortstop instead who can’t hit over .270 at any minor league level.

  3. Dave L says:

    I was sick and bored in december and surfed the baseball reference website on 1st round drafts and what kind of careers they had. I used WAR as a general barometer.

    Half to 2/3rds the draft picks never sniffed the majors. usually 3 to 5 picks had somewhat siginifigant careers with lifetime WAR of 8 to 10+.

    Of course now drafting is getting better with drafts too young to completely analyze.

    If Beckham contributes it will be a plus. Its funny our total busts aren’t so bad when taken into context.

    Baseball is beautiful there is a record to put everything into context.

    • Tom says:

      The #1 pick in the draft, however, generally have much better results than the entire 1st round. I would bet about 1/2 of the number #1 picks have solid careers and easily surpass 8-10 WAR.

      • Drew says:

        15 of the 43 1st overall picks (from 1965 to 2008) have less than 10 career WAR. (Luke Hochevar will probably break 10 war this season). So about a third are “busts” using that criteria.

      • Cork Gaines says:

        I havent looked at it closely, but my guess is that #1 picks that were position players generally do much better than pitchers. And that is generally true of top prospects. Other than Tim Beckham and Matt Bush, you’d be hard-pressed to find a #1 pick position player that did not at least become an everyday player in the big leagues. And many are all-star/HallofFame level.

        • Drew says:


          11 of 28 position players below 10 WAR (39%)
          4 of 15 pitchers below 10 WAR (26.6%)

          Very small samples; probably doesn’t mean anything.

          • Tom says:

            Thanks for the info, Drew.

          • Cork Gaines says:

            Well, we are get into some nit-picking here. But we can take it a step further. Let’s ignore the first 11 years of the draft (1965-75) in which almost all of the players were busts. And I think we can agree that scouting back then isn’t what it is now. And let’s ignore the last 10 years as many of those players are still developing (e.g. I personally wouldn’t call Delmon Young a “bust” even though he is less than 10 career WAR. He is an everyday player in the big leagues. That is something.)

            Also, if we use the 10 WAR barrier, that eliminates a player like Shawon Dunston. He was never great, but again, he was a decent everyday big leaguer for a lot of years.

            So if we just look at 1976-2002, 4 of the 10 pitchers were legit busts (<2 career WAR). Only 2 of the 17 position players were less than 9 career WAR. And one of those was in 1979 and the other was in 1984.

            Small sample sizes to be sure. And obviously Bush and Beckham are going to raise that number. But I still get the sense that a position player is a safer pick if there is one worthy of selection.

          • Drew says:

            No disagreement on that, especially with pitcher injury rates. Just interesting info.

  4. Brian says:

    I have been watching baebal since the 60′s, played for a while. It was OBVIOUS that Posey was major league caliber. Plus he is a catcher. It was a no brainer from a baseball stand point. It was a horrible baseball decision by the Rays. I think it was a financial decision not a baseball decision.

    • Ken says:

      I agree with your comments. However, do you think Dioner Navarro (sp?) having an all-star year in 2008 and being young effected the decision to not draft Posey? Did the Rays pass on Posey just the O’s (with Weiters) passed on him because they had a good young catcher?

      • Rob says:

        Possibly, but if that is the case it was short-sighted on their part. Navarro didn’t have an All-Star season that year. He had an All-Star 1st half, which is what got him to the All-Star game. He batted .275 with 3 HRs and 19 RBIs after the break and every other split in his career has been mediocre at best. Those numbers don’t convince me to not take the best catcher in the draft in years.

      • Sarah says:

        Ken, I’d rather believe that our front office passed on Posey because they thought he’d be too expensive, than believe our front office passed on Posey because they thought that DIONER NAVARRO was the catcher of the future. In the first example, they are pursuing a reasonable albeit in this case short sighted strategy; in the latter case they are idiots unable to judge baseball talent.

  5. Don says:

    Another Thought, Giants parlayed Posey into two World championships, IF (big if) the Rays could have done the same? do you think Stuie would have any attendance problems, and pobably would be making 2x as much Money as he does now,
    SO who really did that MISTAKE cost…what was it….. save a penny to lose a dollar….certainly applies

  6. Dave L says:

    I would love to get through one thread about Beckham that doesnt quickly degenerate into a discussion about how we should have drafted Posey. Its old news its boring its pointless. If it were part of a overall pattern of boneheeaded wasted picks then bring it up. Otherwise just move on….

    Next topic! Pat Burrell


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