Where's Tim Beckham, Rays Fans?
With the 1st pick in the 2008 MLB Amatuer Draft, the Tampa Bay Rays drafted shortstop stud Timothy Lamar Beckham. If you look at players drafted behind him, a lot of guys are already producing at the Major League level (Eric Hosmer, 3; Brian Matusz, 4; Buster Posey, 5). So it leads me to my question: Why isn't Tim Beckham playing at Tropicana Field?
Beckham's career batting average in the Minor Leagues (5 seasons) is an unimpressive .264. He only has 26 home runs in his career, although I don't see him ever hitting for much home run power. And the most RBI's he has ever had in a single season was 70, when he spent time in Double-A before earning a promotion to Triple-A in 2011. What I'm getting at by throwing all these stats at you is this: is Tim Beckham a late-bloomer? Or did the Rays overvalue him when they took him first overall 4 years ago?
I think I am going with the first choice in that question. He just doesn't have the numbers to assume he is going to all-of-the-sudden going to find himself and become an All-Star caliber player, which is what I'm assuming the Rays thought he would be. And this is not just offensively. He has had 115 errors in his 5 seasons in pro ball. That is an average of 23 miscues per season!
I'm not saying he will never sniff the big leagues. I think he could be an effective utility player off the bench. That's right; not all first-round picks turn out to be stars. Remember Bryan Bullington, Pirates fans? Neither do we. He bounced around a few seasons, and was out of American baseball by the age of 29.
Tim Beckham will be in the Major Leagues by next season. But will he amount to much as a starting player? I don't think so.