Here’s something for White Sox Nation to consider: Why wouldn’t you bat Gordon Beckham in the lead-off spot? With nearly a full year of Major League experience under his belt, and accolades from his Rookie campaign starting to tumble in, the comparisons to other players have already begun. Based on the latest decision by the White Sox to move Beckham from third to second base, and the comments from Sox GM Kenny Williams regarding the way he first formulated and ultimately handled his decision to bring Mark Teahen over from Kansas City in exchange for fellow rookie and former Sox 2B Chris Getz and failed former 3B experiment Josh Fields , it certainly appears that the White Sox have decided to build their current and future franchise around one of their best and brightest talents.
Aside from natural position (Beckham spent many years as a shortstop) shared, and the admiration that Beckham himself has voiced for a role-model of his own, the comparisons to the current Yankee great Derek Jeter have already begun. The hitting approach employed by Beckham is very similar in a swift and efficient stroke using all fields. You will see Beckham rip a ball down the left field line in one at-bat, and later see him line one down into the right field corner in the same game. He possesses power to go yard to any field and on any swing, but is more adept at plugging the gaps, making solid contact, and getting on base via extra base hits. He isn’t the fastest runner, but has more than adequate baseball speed, meaning he can take the extra base, and score from 2nd on a regular single. This is beginning to sound a lot like one of the most consistent and productive lead-off men in all of MLB wearing Yankee pinstripes.
For a team that has been, and continues to be in search of that elusive, consistent performing bat at the lead-off spot like the White Sox are, it only makes sense that one of your best hitters should get an extra at-bat game after game like your lead-off slot will invariably receive being at the top of the order. Especially in light of the prolonged and recent success of the Yankees, setting the table for big boppers coming in the middle of the order, has trumped the old adage that your lead-off man had to be a burner that can bunt for his base-hits and steal second in order to get in scoring position. And in an age where the art of base stealing has seemed to have been lost with the retirement of Hall of Fame, and self-proclaimed “greatest of all time” lead-off man Rickey Henderson , maybe the answer for the White Sox search for the best man for the job is not in the Free Agent Market, but already in ink on their roster for many years to come.