The Chicago White Sox drafted Gordon Beckham with the 8th overall pick of the first round in the 2008 MLB Draft. He was a highly touted prospect that many believed would become a star in the game. He ended up having an okay career but he wasn’t a star by any means.
On Thursday, Beckham took to Twitter to announce his official retirement from baseball. It is interesting because he has been a regular host on pre and post-game shows for the White Sox on NBC Sports Chicago. He even had a couple of games as Steve Stone’s fill-in as the color commentator.
Now, it is official as he made it clear he isn’t coming back. After leaving the University of Georgia, he quickly came to Major League Baseball. He played in 103 games for the White Sox in 2009 where he was a solid rookie. In fact, he came in fifth place for the American League Rookie of the Year.
In 2014, the White Sox traded Beckham to the Los Angeles Angels for a player to be named later. That following offseason, he was granted free agency and signed right back with the White Sox. He played in 100 games during that 2015 season.
Following that, he left in free agency and had stints with the Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, and Detroit Tigers. He wasn’t as good with those teams which is probably why his career ended a little bit sooner than expected. His last appearance came in the 2019 season.
The Chicago White Sox didn’t get the most out of Gordon Beckham in his career.
For his career, he had a 5.5 WAR thanks to his slash of .237/.300/.367 for an OPS of .667. He had 80 career home runs to go with 351 RBIs. It certainly was underwhelming for a player that was once the team’s top prospect.
Beckham did a good job flying through the system and reaching major League Baseball early. He was okay in Chicago, as mentioned before, but it was wildly underwhelming due to his status as a prospect. Not every prospect becomes a superstar but he was a serviceable infielder.
Unfortunately, Beckham not living up to expectations is probably a big key to the White Sox not having much success following the 2018 season. He was a key in keeping the 2005 core going but it didn’t work.
One thing that Beckham did do well was connected with the fans. He was a fan favorite which plays a big part in his TV role now. Everybody loved this guy because he was an outstanding human being. He deserves respect and many congratulations on retirement.