Gordon Beckham Turning Up the Heat

Gordon Beckham Turning Up the Heat

How stellar has Gordon Beckham been during the past few weeks? How about stunning? Surprising? Over-the-moon amazing? In short, yes, all of those things. As his third full MLB season started this year, many doubted he had what it would take to be a long-tenured Major League Baseball player. In the month of April, Beckham posted an abysmal .153 batting average, with no home runs and an OBP of .237.

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

But fast forward some weeks later. May is coming to a close. The Chicago White Sox as a whole are heating up. Alex Rios and Dayan Viciedo have started picking up the pace. Even Alexei Ramirez is finally getting the bat on the ball more.

And thankfully, Beckham also caught the hitting bug. Entering Monday, Beckham has a 10-game hitting streak, and over that time is carrying a .333 AVG with 16 hits over 48 at-bats, including 3 HR and 8 RBI.

The great part is, a lot of those hits are coming in a timely fashion, when the White Sox need them most. He had a huge game last Friday in a win over the Seattle Mariners when he hit two homers and knocked in three runs.

He also had an RBI single that gave the Sox the go-ahead run Sunday against the Mariners. It finally looks like Beckham is becoming the player we were initially promised.

There’s also an interesting parallel here between Beckham, a former third baseman, and an all-time great White Sox third baseman. The latter being Joe Crede.

In each of the players’ first 1,500 or so at-bats they had very similar numbers. While Crede almost consistently had more homers and RBI than Beckham, the number of hits remained constant.

In 2004 and 2005, Crede had 117 and 109 hits respectively, while Beckham had 112 and 115 in the 2010 and 2011 seasons.  The thing to remember here is that Crede was never a truly great hitter, he averaged .254 for his entire career and his highest average in a full season was .283.

What everyone remembers was that Crede came through in the clutch.  He was always getting the timely RBI doubles or walk-off home runs.

We all know Beckham has the power to do that; it’s just a matter of finding his stride. If Beckham keeps going the way he is now, he could certainly get numbers to emulate those of Crede and put the Sox over the top in many games.

A lot of people, perhaps myself included, had just about given up on Beckham. However, seeing him play this way over the past few weeks has proved to many that this kid might really be able to make a name for himself in Chicago after all. Now all he has to do is keep it up.

This is a guest post by Nick LaBanca from MidwayMadness.com. Midway Madness is a site dedicated to Chicago sports. It is written by Chicago sports fans, for Chicago sports fans. Nick LaBanca is a Columbia College graduate who grew up in Chicago and is an avid Chicago Bulls and White Sox fan. Wanna read more from Nick? Click here.
Photo Credit: Mike McGinnis
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