September 4, 2011; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham (15) reacts to striking out during the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Projections From Those Smarter Than I: Second Base

I feel like maybe I could begin each position with, “after a disappointing 2011…” but I’m going to try my best to steer clear of that. After a disappointing 2011 (no place else to go, folks!) Gordon Beckham has to bounce back. If he doesn’t go back to being the hitter his rookie year pointed towards, he may just get bounced down to Charlotte and then into oblivion. He’s young, he’s got time for minor league contracts, spring training invites, GMs remembering something positive from years ago and taking a shot. So if he’s satisfied with a career winding down in that fashion then I suppose he doesn’t have to bounce back. I’ve been a Gordo fan since he was drafted and want to see him succeed. And with Carlos Quentin gone, can we afford to lose such a full head of hair from our 40 man roster? I think not.

Lillibridge is being plugged in here because he is the backup/starter motivation plan for Beckham as far as I’m concerned. With the Fukudome signing he’s going to see a bit less time in the outfield and with Omar Vizquel moving on (not like, “moving on” moving on, he’s not that old) he’ll see extra reps at infield spots.

 

Gordon Beckham
AVG OBP SLG HR RBI SB R
Bill James

0.256

0.326

0.402

13

61

6

70

RotoChamp

0.249

0.319

0.367

11

59

5

60

PECOTA

0.253

0.317

0.389

12

57

6

61

 

Brent Lillibridge
AVG OBP SLG HR RBI SB R
Bill James

0.241

0.311

0.386

5

19

10

25

RotoChamp

0.24

0.318

0.455

11

28

11

26

PECOTA

0.229

0.298

0.364

12

48

23

51

What we see is not a lot of confidence in Gordo, but an improvement. I’ve always seen him as ending up as a .280 guy that walks and hits 20 HR a year. The projections aren’t fans of my stance here. This is another situation where it can’t get worse than last year. He won’t play if he’s any worse at the plate. Should he have to sit, what are we looking at for a replacement? The systems see Beckham and Lillibridge as being pretty similar players, though more pop is expected across the board from Gordon. If Beckham plays to the low end of his ability, I’d say I can see those similarities. Hopefully Gordo lives up to some of the initial expectations and we can all have a laugh about how for a little while Brent Lillibridge was more effective than Gordon Beckham.

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Tags: Brent Lillibridge Gordon Beckham Projections Second Base White Sox

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