Gordon Beckham‘s rookie season in 2009 was a pretty darn good one. The second baseman out of Georgia hit .270 with 14 home runs and 63 runs batted in in 103 games. In the two years since then his games played have gone up but his production has gone down. From a batting average of .252 in in 2010 to .230 in 2011 he’s been pretty steady in his decline. Not only is he not hitting quite as well as he was, he’s also getting on base considerably less, going from an on-base percentage of .347 in 2009 to .317 in 2010 and .296 last year. So what exactly is the problem?
It’s difficult to get comfortable when you don’t know where in the lineup you’re going to be batting. Each slot has a specific role. Although he has struggled in a few spots in the batting order what manager Robin Ventura needs to do is pick a spot for him and leave him there. Last season he bounced around the batting order, hitting second in 18 games, third in one, seventh in eight, eighth in 54, and ninth in a whopping 69 games. The Sox can’t use his above average defense as an excuse for poor offensive numbers.
Beckham needs to find a home somewhere in the lineup and it should in the two spot where he thrived in 2009. If the Sox can get .270/15/60 out of Beckham in 2012 that would be a huge improvement and sign of good things to come in Bacon’s future. Keep an eye on him in Spring Training. (Which, honestly, can’t get here fast enough.)