Making a case for the best use of talent…

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.



Filed under Baseball, White Sox

2 responses to “Making a case for the best use of talent…

  1. jamie

    i thought i saw talk of beckham going to the lead off position…. was this after you posted this?

  2. Jamie, thanks for the question. Here’s the deal as I see it going down…I started this blog as a challenge from my wife since she couldn’t understand why I spent so much time on the White Sox message boards engaging in pointless and seemingly never ending arguments with other fans, and she said, “write something, anything related to baseball, and I’ll set it up” (she is much more advanced at the technology side of things than I, and has had her own heavily-trafficked blog before)…so out of my mind spawned one of my many baseball theories/ideas, and out came this “Making a case…” post. Well, that day, (back in November) I had 10 views (which means almost nothing to me, but I guess that means people searching for information on various topics that were linked saw & read the post. I didn’t think anything else about it, until magically a few days later it showed up as an idea (very casually, almost in passing) in a Scott Merkin ( writer who covers the Sox) article. So when I saw that, I e-mailed Scott and asked if he had heard that idea bandied about in his circle from Sox management, or if he liked my idea and decided to run with it…I received no response. Then, as stories (and rumors) tend to do, it suddenly “grew legs” and started to run. Now, Ozzie Guillen was being quoted on his intentions of using GB as his lead-off man if the Sox couldn’t sign a more traditional player to fit that role, and I was like “hey, that’s my idea!” To this day, I am not sure if it actually started with my post, and I really don’t care since the point is moot with the Juan Pierre signing, but I may always wonder to some degree if that is how some ideas get started with very humble (fan) beginnings. I wish I did know for sure, as that would confirm my suspicions that media and players (of course they use fan ideas for inspiration and feedback), coaches and management (maybe care, maybe read or at minimum have someone monitor), and even ownership (same hope) follow all that happens in our world of fandom opinion.

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