Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/15/14
Chicago_cubs_vs_4902

Gordon Beckham has not lived up to expectations. After being selected eighth overall by the Chicago White Sox in 2008, Beckham was expected to be one of the team’s future stars. And after a strong rookie season, it looked like Beckham might achieve that goal. Since then, however, Beckham was struggled mightily. For the 25-year-old, 2012 is a make-or-break year. The early signs do not look encouraging.

While it’s still early, Beckham has been terrible this season. Through 55 plate appearances, Beckham is hitting just .188/.255/.240. He’s also struck out at a 23.6% clip, the worst rate of his career. Since his promising debut, Beckham has turned into one of the worst regulars in the game. On any other team, Beckham’s job security would be in jeopardy.

Problem is, the White Sox don’t have a strong in-house replacement. Brent Lillibridge posted a higher WAR than Beckham last season despite receiving 300 fewer plate appearances, but his breakout isn’t sustainable. Considering Lillibridge struck out 28.7% of the time last year, it was a miracle he hit .258. And while he slugged .505, he had never approached that level of power in his professional career. Marc Hulet may have ranked Eduardo Escobar eighth on the White Sox top prospect list, but his bat won’t play in the majors. He would likely be a non-prospect on any other team. Since the White Sox have no immediate replacements, Beckham should continue to get opportunities to prove himself.

Considering his track record, Beckham may struggle to produce much value. Very few second basemen go on to have strong careers after struggling as much as Beckham has early in his career. Using our age filters, I looked at second basemen over the past forty years who produced similar value to Beckham between their age-22 and age-24 seasons.

Name PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA WAR Asdrubal Cabrera 1424 8.10% 15.90% 0.284 0.346 0.390 0.327 5.5 Glenn Hubbard 1505 9.40% 12.60% 0.245 0.318 0.357 0.306 4.7 Rickie Weeks 1333 11.10% 22.80% 0.250 0.357 0.411 0.347 4.6 Gordon Beckham 1485 7.60% 18.00% 0.249 0.318 0.386 0.311 4.6 Aaron Hill 1013 7.50% 10.60% 0.284 0.346 0.386 0.322 4.1 Jose Lopez 1903 3.80% 11.10% 0.278 0.310 0.404 0.309 3.4

That’s not a very encouraging list. Aside from Weeks, the other players on the list don’t inspire a ton of confidence. When healthy, Weeks has proven that he’s one of the better second basemen in the game. Hubbard and Lopez had lengthy careers, but neither can be considered great full-time options at the position. And the juries are still out on Hill and Cabrera. Both players have experienced success in the past, but have failed to sustain it. After a strong 2009 — in which he posted a 4.1 WAR — Hill has been an awful everyday player. After a strong 2009, Cabrera collapsed in 2010. While he rebounded back to a 3.6 WAR last year, he’ll have to prove that it wasn’t a fluke.

But Beckham may even be able to reach that level of success in the majors. By their age-25 seasons, Weeks and Cabrera had each posted one season with a 3+ WAR. While Hill wasn’t that good early on, he didn’t reach the majors until he was 23-years-old. Even though he played one fewer season, Hill still managed to post as much WAR as Beckham.

Beckham just hasn’t shown those same flashes of potential throughout his career. There aren’t many players who go on to have successful major league careers after scuffling as like Beckham. Unless Beckham can defy recent history, his time as a full-time player will be coming to an end very soon.


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

MLBPA reacts to Kris Bryant's minor league assignment

Gregg Marshall's show canceled, Bama speculation grows

Report: Shaka Smart in discussions with Texas

Report: Rick Barnes expected to land at Tennessee

Demaryius Thomas planning to skip Broncos' workouts

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rockets GM: We think we can win NBA title despite injuries

Browns GM Ray Farmer suspended over text messages

Aaron Hernandez's fiancee disposed of box after murder

Byron Scott: Opposing players say they want to play for Lakers

Falcons reportedly will lose pick over pumping in crowd noise

Report: Sam Bradford wouldn't sign extension with Browns

University of California soccer player found dead

Joe Namath parties with twin 100 year-old women

WATCH: Mike Napoli hits home run as bat shatters

WATCH: Marc Gasol misses shot, rips jersey in disgust

PHOTO: Minor league team to wear Jabba the Hutt jerseys

Lions LB DeAndre Levy takes ride on top of a moving plane

Colts owner addresses Indiana religious freedom bill

John Calipari addresses controversial ND comments

Arizona coach Sean Miller rips critics: 'Go cheer for ASU'

Report: NFL could push extra point back to 15-yard line

Urban Meyer: 'No issue' with Braxton Miller's Instagram post

Tiger Woods drops out of top 100 for first time in 19 years

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Namath parties with 100 yr-old women

Report: Shaka Smart talking to Texas

Rick Barnes to land at Tennessee?

Browns GM suspended for texts

Hernandez's fiancee disposed of box

Mayweather-Pacquiao: It's sparring tall-tale season

The MLBPA has a problem

Final Four preview: Can every team win?

Full WrestleMania 31 recap and results

Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

Report: Chris Mullin to take St. John's job

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.