Our fine editor Anders Johanson gave you the 2012 season forcast for Gordon Beckham. He alluded to Robin Ventura finding him a permanent home in the batting order. A sense of comfort comes from knowing where you will hit in the lineup every day. Since coming to the majors, Gordon has played multiple positions and has been scattered through the lineup. In addition to stability, Robin’s main goal is getting his head straight and teaching him how to be a major league player and a White Sox.
There was a hot shot player who was dominant in college baseball. He won awards for his outstanding collegiate play and still holds a NCAA-record 58-game hitting streak. Robin Ventura was this guy. He was highly regarded coming out of Oklahoma St. and drafted very high in the first round by the White Sox. The pressure was there for him to perform right away and he struggled going through the infamous 0-41 slump and 25 errors. Ventura has to see Beckham in himself. The star college player with the boyish good looks who everybody is waiting to turn into a star. There is not a more perfect person to help Beckham.
After his struggles during his rookie season, Ventura turned things around right away. In his second year he set a team record for RBI’s at third base and won a Gold Glove. He made the all-star team in his third season and went on to have a very successful career. Since being named Sporting News’ 2009 American League Rookie of the Year Beckham has struggled. We can only speculate why he as digressed. Ozzie Guillen’s abrupt style? Greg Walker’s inability to teach proper mechanics? Various position and lineup changes? The pressure of life in the big city? The pressure of being anointed the face of a franchise too soon.? It could be one or all of those factors.
The problem is no longer important. The solution is now what is vital. Robin Ventura has to take this young player under his wing and build him back up. Beckham has a talent few players possess. He is young enough to still be the cornerstone of the White Sox for many years to come. Ventura know exactly what his young second baseman is going through. He’s been there and made through the adversity. Now it’s time to share the knowledge and save Gordon Beckham.