The Chicago White Sox have been waiting for the Gordon Beckham that they saw in 2009. The one thing that keeping Beckham around has been his Gold Glove caliber defense at 2nd base. But I am very surprised that White Sox fans have given Beckham this much time without really getting all over him. He will be headed towards his first year of arbitration this off season and is looking at a nice raise.
In 2012, Beckham has hit .231/.282/.354 for an OPS of .637 to go with 18 doubles, 9 home runs and 38 RBI. I realistically thought the Gordon was going to be a .290/.340/.450 range year in and year out. I also thought he would consistently be in the 17-20 home run range and 35+ doubles a year and he just hasn’t done it. He has been a big disappointment for the White Sox offensively.
I really think that the rest of the 2012 season is Gordon’s last chance to show GM Kenny Williams and Manager Robin Ventura that he is the 2nd baseman of the future for the Chicago White Sox. If he doesn’t significantly show some improvement, then I expect Williams to shop him hard this off season. I highly doubt that he would non tender him, because he will still be cheap and would be a very nice utility player as he can play second base, shortstop and third base.
If Williams does shop him this off season, I really think that he would be looking for another young player that maybe has the same amount of service time that hasn’t been as good as the other team thought. Basically someone in the same situation as the Sox are with Beckham. One example could be the Baltimore Orioles, they have two pitchers that match this situation in Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta. That is the type of deal that I think both teams would be willing to do as a change of scenery deal for both players. But that is just an example, I have no idea what would happen.
The White Sox do have a couple of players that could fight for that spot in the minors. They are 22 year old Tyler Saladino who is playing for AAA Charlotte and 20 year old Carlos Sanchez who is playing for AA Birmingham. Saladino hasn’t hit as well as he would have liked or like he did in 2011. So far Saladiono is hitting .252/.386/.349 mostly in AA and 8 at bats in AAA. He does have 36 stolen bases while only being caught only 7 times. A very nice stat for Saladino is that he has struck out 79 times, but has walked 74 times this season. He has a very good eye at the plate that leads to a very nice on base percentage. Sanchez is very young at 20 years old and was just promoted to AA eleven games ago. He has hit .400 in his first 50 plate appearances in AA to give him a full season line of .324/.381/.407 with 17 doubles, 7 triples, 1 home run, 48 RBI and 22 stolen bases. He has played second base, shortstop and third base this season and made the Futures Game during the All Star Break.
Overall, I really believe this is Gordon Beckham’s last chance to show the White Sox that he is the future at second base on the South Side of Chicago.