|Jim McIssac/Getty Images|
Player: Gordon Beckham
Date of Scouting Report: 2/23/16
How acquired: Free Agent, 12/2/15
Years Left: 1
8th overall pick of the 2008 draft, Beckham has never lived up to the promise aside from his first year ,when he had a .190 ISO and 2.3 fWAR in 103 games. It still remains the only year he has posted a wRC+ above 90 and he has a triple slash of .238/.298/.358 over the last six years. So why does he still get paid? He’s a competent defender, a good clubhouse guy, and does have some pop.
Offensive Observations and Grades:
Historically, Beckham shows little difference whether he has the platoon advantage or not. Handles finesse pitchers better than power pitchers (.713 OPS to .636 OPS) if you accept that the power/finesse labels can be based on number of strikeouts. His pitch value stats are terrible against fastball stats as well. Handles the bat well and carries a higher-than-average foul-ball rate. Also has below-average rates in swinging and looking strikes, giving the impression that Beckham knows the strikezone well. Still, he is very aggressive and swings at about 3% more than the league average. Part of that is likely due to pitchers having little fear in throwing to him, which means he sees more “hittable pitches.” Sprays the ball around, but makes too much soft contact and too little hard contact. Does show a high rate in the productive out metric, as you might expect from a player with so many offensive flaws. Just 3 pinch hits in 22 AB so far in his career. Overall, the impression is that Beckham can occasionally swing into a homerun, but mostly will serve weak liners and grounders where the pitch is thrown while being vulnerable to high velocity offerings. Baserunning-wise, he doesn’t give you much. A couple of steals and little ability to take the extra base.
Grades from a 20-80 Scale…Contact (50), Power (35), Speed (40), Baserunning (35), Eye (55), Discipline (45)
Pitching Observations and Grades:
Defensive Observations and Grades:
His defense is a mixed bag. You won’t get spectacular plays very often, but he does play a competent second base. He’s smooth at double play transfers and generally does everything rather well when it comes to defense. He’s not a great defender, but he’s always good. At third base, he might be better suited because range is less of a concern. In a pinch, he can revert back to shortstop for a game or a few late innings, but that’s probably all you want to see out of him playing short.
Grades from a 20-80 scale…Range (40), Arm (55), Arm Accuracy (55), Hands (60)
Steamer only projects 37 games for him – a number he has always exceeded by a large amount. The rates are pretty reasonable, though. 6% BB%, 17% K%, .110 ISO, .275 wOBA. They’re under his career norms, but not significantly so. Marcels gives him a bit more love with a .237/.293/.369 slash. Again, PECOTA is still a couple of months from being updated, but last year’s projection had his 2016 numbers similar to Marcels with a minor fall in slugging. Regardless of which projection you want to throw your weight behind, they all tell the same story. Beckham is a decent defender with gross offensive stats. Some might recall the Georgia Bulldog phenom he once was, but at 29, it would be a monster surprise to see Beckham do much more than struggle with the bat in 2016.
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