4. What does the future hold for Gordon Beckham?
Good things – and lots of them. His performance with the Sox last year showed that the team was right to draft him with their No. 1 pick in 2008, and then move him out of the minors after only 59 games. The kid looks like the real deal and should have a terrific future in front of him.
… For a clearer picture what’s in store for him, I did a little digging for comps. Last year, the 22-year-old Beckham posted a 107 OPS+. So, I went to Baseball-Reference.com’s excellent Play Index and did a search for seasons by: 1) 22-year-olds since 1900, who 2) played an infield defensive position (short, third, or second), 3) posted an OPS+ between 97 and 117, and 4) either qualified for a batting title or had 400 PA.
Fifty-three names popped up. Two were in 2009 (Beckham himself and Everth Cabrera) – leaving the remaining 51 to serve as forecasting tools for Beckham. (I know B-ref has easily available sim scores, but I don’t really trust them because of the differences of era and park. Besides, I think it matters to account for defensive position.) I then dug into their careers to get an idea what the short- and long-term future could be for him (they’re all listed in references and resources at the end of this column if your curious). …