Will Beckham ever break out?

Will Beckham ever break out?

Posted by scotgreg on Fri, 01/18/2013 - 15:38
Outside of bringing back starting pitchers Jake Peavy and Gavin Floyd in late October and signing free-agent third baseman Jeff Keppinger to a three-year, $12 million contract in early December, it's been a fairly quiet off-season for the White Sox. There was some news on Friday, a week ahead of SoxFest. The White Sox agreed to terms on one-year contracts with second baseman Gordon Beckham ($2.925 million) and outfielder Alejandro De Aza ($2.075 million), avoiding arbitration with both players. There's no big surprise on either player, but let's focus on Beckham as spring training draws closer. "Excited that arbitration is out of the way," Beckham tweeted early Friday afternoon. "I love playing for (the White Sox) and can't wait to build on my progress from last year." Sox fans, do you think Beckham has progressed well enough to be considered a cornerstone player? I think the jury is still out, and Beckham needs to have a breakout season after three-plus years of inconsistent play. When the White Sox drafted Beckham out of Georgia with the No. 8 overall pick in 2008, he was supposed to eventually become an all-star player and face of the franchise. Beckham looked like a great pick when he joined the Sox in 2009 and batted .270 with 14 home runs and 63 RBI in 103 games. In 2010, however, Beckham slipped to .252 with 9 HR and 49 RBI. In 2011, he batted .230 with 10 HR and 44 RBI. Last season, Beckham batted .234 with 16 homers and 60 RBI. He's developed into a Gold Glove caliber second baseman and has put together some impressive offensive stretches, but Beckham has not transformed into the offensive force he was projected to be. He is still 26 years old and it takes some players more time than others to get over the hump. If Beckham struggles with the bat again this season, look for the White Sox to seriously consider going in a different direction.
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