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As the manager of the Durham Bulls in recent years, Charlie Montoyo knows Tim Beckham as well as anybody and the Rays’ new third base coach recently had some high praise for the shortstop prospect.

It has been seven years since the Rays made Tim Beckham the first pick of the 2008 draft and there have been many times when it felt like he would never make it to the big leagues. However, during Rays Radio’s “Countdown to Opening Day” show, Montoyo explained to Dave Wills and Andy Freed why Beckham is finally ready.

“Beckham is one of my favorite players because he plays the game the right way,” Montoyo said. “He goes to the ballpark, he’s there early and he leaves late. And when we play in the playoffs you can tell this guy is a winner. He was in charge.”

Montoyo went on to explain that Beckham has a chance to be one of those rare players who actually puts up better numbers in the big leagues.

“Whenever he came up (to the big leagues) he did well,” Montoyo continued. “He’s going to be one of those guys, that the lights (of a big league stadium), he’s going to do even better than what he did in triple-A. I think he’s ready and I really like Timmy a lot.”

We have spent a lot of time pointing out Beckham’s failures, something that is magnified by the success of Buster Posey, whom the Rays passed over in the draft, reportedly because of contract demands. However, it is easy to forget that Beckham is still just 25 years old.

Beckham is never going to be a star player. But he has a very good shot to become a productive big league player and Montoyo seems to think that is going to happen sooner rather than later.

 

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14 Comments

  1. Ken says:

    I have always respected Montoya for the work he's done in the Rays MiLB system. If he's spot on in this case I'd dance a jig. Based on the performance of all middle infielders this spring thus far, why not declare Beckham the SS, Cabrera the 2B and use Logan as the backup? Franklin has done nothing yet to prove he belongs, and he has options. If Timmy flames out then waive him in May or early June.

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  2. OriginalTom says:

    Beckham is 25 not 23.

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  3. Adam says:

    for a 1-1 pick you kind of expect to have drafted a potential star.

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  4. Scott Roth says:

    He probably won't be a star, but why flat-out declare as much this early? Players develop at different pace--who knows, maybe he explodes? I have never been a big fan of Franklin (there or here), and Forsythe is no more than a utility guy. Indeed, why not give him a shot? What is there to lose?

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    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      Agreed. There is a slim possibility that any prospect becomes a star and an even slimmer one when it takes this long, but there is NOTHING to substantiate the idea that a 25 year old player cannot become a star.

      Like Montoya is alluding to, Beckham has been working hard despite knowing that everyone feels he's a failure, as a result now he may see this as his chance to finally set the record straight and let the world see the fruits of his labor. He has nowhere to go but up. That chip on his shoulder is probably as big as Papi's ego.

      The next question then becomes; what do you think constitutes 'success' for Beckham at this point?

      This: BA .272 OBP .343 SLG .531 OPS .874 ??

      Before you decide...
      those were Longo's rookie numbers

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      • Ken says:

        Numbers like that would make him not only a starter but a valuable one. The Rays have little to lose here and a hell of a lot to gain if Montoya's right.

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      • zenny says:

        We'd all take those number in a heartbeat, of course.

        I'll be very pleased if Beckham has an OBP in the .330 to .350 range, shows some speed on the bathpaths, and is solid with the glove. It's very possible; he's done it before at the AAA level.

        If so, he'd have a comparable season to Escobar last year, and.at a much lower cost.

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        • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

          Right. But considering that it took 7 years and he's a first overall pick would people still call him a success?

          I guess the point I was getting at is that no matter how well he may do, he/we will still have to hear that he isn't good enough for his draft spot. And then I'll have to poke out my eyes with a dull #2 pencil when people respond with, "Buster Posey."

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      • Dave L says:

        BA .272 OBP .343 SLG .531 OPS .874 for an AL SS in 2015?

        He would start the All Star Game. He would be hands down the best offensive shortstop in the AL by a country mile

        Dial the expectations down.

        If he puts up Escobars ok offensive numbers and played solid Bartlett like SS defense for 120+ games we should all count our lucky stars.

        Check 2014 MLB offensive stats for a reality check. Its not 2002.

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        • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

          You're not seeing the forest through the trees... I'm not implying that I expect that at all. I'm making the point that it doesn't matter what numbers he puts up, people (not me) still won't consider it good enough because it's happening 4-5 years too late.

          I'm not sure what he could do in order for people to move past his slow progression and seeming lack of living up to expectations (of which I have none).
          I simply think he's ready and that he'll be an asset not a detriment.

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          • Dave L says:

            Well lets agree to disagree.

            If Beckham magically put up SS numbers only a Coors Field aided Tulo could dream of in 2015, Rays land would be in heaven and all would be forgiven and the Pavlovian Posey obsessives would disappear. Aint gonna happen.

            My point to you was ROY 3rd baseman numbers in 2008 are impossible for a 2015 SS.

            Pitching is so much ahead of hitting now.

            My point also was that the bar has been lowered for hitting such that 2014 Yunel was actually not bad.

            I would expect only Asdrubal has the potential to even match Escobars offensive productivity this year as a SS but he may not have the glove to last there.

            Yeah I missed your forest because I got hung up on the fantastic tree you used at a ferinstance that looked like something out the classic Wizard of Oz technicolor movie.

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  5. TOM says:

    What the hell is Montoya talking about. Beckham has done nothing since he was drafted in the 1st round. But now he's ready for the Bigs. For God's sake the guys batting what .111. Give me a break. He'll be another B J Upton. Whayt a waste.

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  6. Ken says:

    When I started this thread my intention was to point out Montoya's ability to evaluate his players' has served the Rays well for the past few years. He's actually been more successful in JoMa in bringing home the bacon. I'm certainly not comparing the IL to MLB here but Championships, especially in the Rays system, are notable. Beckham's out of options. We need to determine if he's an everyday dude or not. Otherwise keeping him is tantamount to having a cheap SRod. Same could be said of Guyer, Franklin and Forsythe. Maddon's "system" of interchangeable parts was highly successful, possibly at the expense of the Rays younger players, but 2015 is a different year and a year without Maddon. I'm curiously more excited about the mystery of this squad as I was in the confidence of last year's. Must be the Brooklyn Dodger in me.

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