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anewman35
08-04-2009, 11:01 PM
We just passed the anniversery of Frank Thomas's major league debut, and it occured to me that he'd probably played about as much in his rookie season as Gordon, and I thought it would be interesting to compare their seasons.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/thomafr04.shtml

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/beckhgo01.shtml

Obviously, it means nothing, since they're different hitters and nobody knows anything about the future, but if you look you see Gordon compares pretty favorably. LONG way to go, obviously but if Gordon can have anything like the career progression of Frank, I think we're in good shape.

And as an odd little aside, Frank Thomas came up to the majors wearing number 15. Concidence? Or fate?

A. Cavatica
08-04-2009, 11:08 PM
Not to take anything away from Beckham, but Thomas's 177 OPS+ over his first ~200 at-bats was a lot better than Beckham's 120 OPS+. (Stat haters: Hurt's production relative to the league was a lot better.)

But hey, it's only 200 at-bats, and Beckham's playing a more demanding defensive position after a shorter stay in the minors. He's having a better rookie year, sooner, than anyone could have hoped for.

getonbckthr
08-04-2009, 11:12 PM
Best part of looking at those stats... in 1998 Frank Thomas was 7 for 7 stealing bases.

anewman35
08-04-2009, 11:14 PM
Best part of looking at those stats... in 1998 Frank Thomas was 7 for 7 stealing bases.

I like his 3 triples in 2 months in 1990. He ended up with 12 in his entire career.

voodoochile
08-04-2009, 11:22 PM
Frank's one of the all time great RH hitters in the history of the game and he showed it from the minute he came up.

Beckham is having the next best rookie season since Frank came up, but it's not that good, yet.

Having said that, yes, I do feel like watching Beckham's at bats as much as anyone on the team and yes, I feel as confident with him batting and runners in scoring positions as anyone else on the team, maybe more so recently. I almost expected the Angel's to walk him in the 7th and pitch to Dye. If he keeps this up, that day will come eventually. He's having one incredible second half of the season and has gotten off to a redhot start in August.

If he ever even comes close to Frank's numbers it will be pretty freaking amazing. Just the fact that people want to mention them in the same sentence says how great Gordo is playing...

Eddo144
08-04-2009, 11:54 PM
Frank's one of the all time great RH hitters in the history of the game and he showed it from the minute he came up.

Beckham is having the next best rookie season since Frank came up, but it's not that good, yet.

Having said that, yes, I do feel like watching Beckham's at bats as much as anyone on the team and yes, I feel as confident with him batting and runners in scoring positions as anyone else on the team, maybe more so recently. I almost expected the Angel's to walk him in the 7th and pitch to Dye. If he keeps this up, that day will come eventually. He's having one incredible second half of the season and has gotten off to a redhot start in August.

If he ever even comes close to Frank's numbers it will be pretty freaking amazing. Just the fact that people want to mention them in the same sentence says how great Gordo is playing...
Well put, Voodoo. I think Thomas is a tad underrated even on this board. He's easily one of the ten best right-handed pure hitters in baseball history, so a rookie (who's naturally a middle infielder, remember) not being as good as him is in no way a knock on that rookie.

There's probably a 99% chance Beckham will never be as good a pure hitter as Frank Thomas, but right now, he may very well be the best hitter on the 2009 White Sox, which is damn impressive.

pudge
08-05-2009, 04:06 AM
I can't see Beckham walking like Frank did or hitting the homers Frank did, but he has that amazing ability to go with any pitch and hit to all fields with authority. Clearly the best rookie we've seen since Frank.

Frater Perdurabo
08-05-2009, 08:29 AM
Frank Thomas has been underrated by many because they are too young to remember his prime. Even his 2003 and 2004 seasons (pre-injury) were very good and only overshadowed by PED-inflated numbers. And remember he lost the 2000 MVP to an admitted roider.

When Frank came up, he was a tremendous athlete who also was a once-in-a-generation hitter. That explains the early triples, steals and solid glovework at 1B (apart from a weak arm, due to a previous injury), in addition to the high average and OBP. Early 90s discussion about moving him to DH centered on keeping him off the field to protect him from injury, simply because his bat was too good, not replacing him with a better defensive player. Frank clearly was a significantly better hitter than Beckham is right now. However, while Beckham may not be as good an overall athlete as Frank was in 1990, Beckham already is a more complete baseball player because of his defensive ability at more important defensive positions (I think he would be solid if moved back to SS and is improving by the day at 3B) and baserunning skills.

I've said it elsewhere, and I'll say it here. In March 1990 I boasted/predicted to my friends that Frank Thomas would make the Hall of Fame. So, assuming Frank makes it (which he should and will), I'm 1-for-1 on Sox HOF predictions. I'm predicting right now that, barring injury, Beckham makes the Hall. And you can bookmark this post.
:bandance:

Cangelosi CF
08-05-2009, 09:06 AM
I wish Thomas had been brought up earlier back in 1990. Steve Lyons at 1B didn't cut it. Still, that team won 94 games, I wonder if he had been playing 1B from the start of that season whether that would have made a difference in how the division race turned out.

bigdommer
08-05-2009, 10:05 AM
Good points on Frank. His success has been erroneously overlooked for several reasons: steroid era, late career injuries, clashing with management. I caught a game on classic a few months ago from '94 (probably his best season), and it was amazing how much respect pitchers gave him. His numbers insane, and his plate coverage was ridiculous.

Lazy research report: excluding steroid guys (Manny/McGwire), Frank has the 6th best OPS of any right handed hitter in history, and the 2nd best over the past 50 years (Pujols has the best of all time).

ode to veeck
08-05-2009, 10:21 AM
Frank's 1st 2 or 3 years were unparalleled by any RH hitter in the history of the game.

jabrch
08-05-2009, 11:42 AM
Comparing Gordon to Frank is unfair.

A better comparison is to Ventura. I'll discount his first 58 PAs in 89 and just look at 1990...

565 PAs (493 ABs) - .249/.324/.318, 25 errors at 3B.

Look at Gordon so far.

211 PAs (187 ABs) - .316/.376/.503, 9 errors at 3B


The best part about it is that there is no reason to believe that Gordon can't continue to improve, both with the glove and with the bat. He clearly can be a better defender - that's what happens when you put a kid somewhere at the major league level that he hasn't played ever. He clearly can develop more power. He's just 22 - power often comes more later. 25+ HR power isn't unrealistic at all. And I don't think it is impossible that he can't hit for higher average. Remember his numbers are impacted by his first month where he went 10 for his first 58 ABs. Since then he is hitting .380.

I don't think he will ever be Frank Thomas. But I think there is a reasonable chance he will be better than Robin Ventura - and that's pretty damn good.

hawkjt
08-05-2009, 11:57 AM
That shot by Gordon last nite in the first was a glimpse of how timing,bat speed and great hands can produce great power. That was a perfect marriage of all the above and produced a homer that went into a wind and still was halfway up to the concourse. Gordon will hit 25 homers playing in Soxpark along with a high average.
Frank is off the charts.. I only rate Foxx,Aaron and Mays ahead of him as right handed hitters and the last couple is a good debate.

Frank,like Gordon, hits the ball where it is pitched, only with more power,reflective of his huge body. I always think Robin Yount when I see Gordon.

PorkChopExpress
08-05-2009, 12:17 PM
Thomas' OBP in those early years was insane. For the first 8 years of his career, he reached base in nearly half of his at PA's.

Britt Burns
08-05-2009, 12:18 PM
I wish Thomas had been brought up earlier back in 1990. Steve Lyons at 1B didn't cut it. Still, that team won 94 games, I wonder if he had been playing 1B from the start of that season whether that would have made a difference in how the division race turned out.

Carlos Martinez was the regular at first before Frank came along, not that he was any better than Lyons.

RustyKuntz
08-05-2009, 03:10 PM
Interesting comparison. Now we just have to keep Beckham from starting his own record label. :tongue:

fram40
08-05-2009, 03:21 PM
Thomas' OBP in those early years was insane. For the first 8 years of his career, he reached base in nearly half of his at PA's.

As good as Pujols has been this season, Frank's 1994 season was even better - 1.217 OPS and a 211 OPS+. Albert has only a 1.125 and a94 OPS+ this season.

I remember when Frank came up in 1990 - the Sox needed a bat for the pennant race. Rather than trade for a veteran bat, the Sox brought Frank up and he provided better production than any veteran could have. Simply a great hitter from the start.

While Frank's stats from 1990 may be better than Beckham's rookie stats, I believe Beckham is having more of an impact on his team than Frank did. I can see Beckham leading this team into the playoffs.

As Voodoo said - I wondered if Scosia was going to put Beckham on base and pitch to Dye last night. I wonder what Scosia will do next time. Can you imagine walking a rookie to face Dye?

jdm2662
08-05-2009, 03:22 PM
I remember when Kittle was traded in 1990. A Cub fan friend called me and told me this. I was like so? Then he went on and on, etc. I told him, "They are bringing up this Frank Thomas guy from the minors. Watch him, he will be good..."

That was like the only time I was ever accurate. I was much smarter at 13 than I am now I guess. :redneck

UChicagoHP
08-05-2009, 03:43 PM
That shot by Gordon last nite in the first was a glimpse of how timing,bat speed and great hands can produce great power. That was a perfect marriage of all the above and produced a homer that went into a wind and still was halfway up to the concourse. Gordon will hit 25 homers playing in Soxpark along with a high average.
Frank is off the charts.. I only rate Foxx,Aaron and Mays ahead of him as right handed hitters and the last couple is a good debate.

Frank,like Gordon, hits the ball where it is pitched, only with more power,reflective of his huge body. I always think Robin Yount when I see Gordon.

Good points, Timing/BatSpeed/Hands is everything in baseball(hitting) and Gordon Beckham has the complete package. Regarding Frank Thomas, first-ballot HOF, super-stud in his prime, but I'd add about a half-dozen more hitters to your list that I would consider a "better" hitter than our favorite Hurt, including Albert Pujols. No disrepsect to Frank, but we may be watching the best hitter of all-time right now...just my opinion, but a good posting from ya nonetheless.

Foulke You
08-05-2009, 03:51 PM
As Voodoo said - I wondered if Scosia was going to put Beckham on base and pitch to Dye last night. I wonder what Scosia will do next time. Can you imagine walking a rookie to face Dye?
This is why I think the #2 hole is perfect for Beckham. A lot of managers lately are opting to pitch to the rookie Beckham rather than the "devil they know" in Dye. All American League managers have to respect the tremendous bat of Jermaine Dye which is why Gordon will continue to get pitches to hit.

soltrain21
08-06-2009, 09:44 AM
I'm just going to say I'm really glad we sucked in 2007.

jabrch
08-06-2009, 10:47 AM
I'm just going to say I'm really glad we sucked in 2007.

Can you imagine how good we might be if we sucked more?

hawkjt
08-06-2009, 11:34 AM
Good points, Timing/BatSpeed/Hands is everything in baseball(hitting) and Gordon Beckham has the complete package. Regarding Frank Thomas, first-ballot HOF, super-stud in his prime, but I'd add about a half-dozen more hitters to your list that I would consider a "better" hitter than our favorite Hurt, including Albert Pujols. No disrepsect to Frank, but we may be watching the best hitter of all-time right now...just my opinion, but a good posting from ya nonetheless.


The reason I put Frank behind only a handful of right handed hitters in mlb history is his lifetime OBA..he is #5 alltime,with only Foxx,Gehrig,Ruth and Williams ahead of him...Foxx is the only righty in that bunch..and to me, the object of the excercise when a player goes to the plate is to get on base....Frank was spectacular in that category,along with many others.

voodoochile
08-06-2009, 11:45 AM
The reason I put Frank behind only a handful of right handed hitters in mlb history is his lifetime OBA..he is #5 alltime,with only Foxx,Gehrig,Ruth and Williams ahead of him...Foxx is the only righty in that bunch..and to me, the object of the excercise when a player goes to the plate is to get on base....Frank was spectacular in that category,along with many others.

For me it's all about the runs. Frank is 19th all time in Runs Created (Runs+RBI-HR) at 2003. Considering how many games he lost due to injury while still in his productive years that's pretty damned decent. Oh and for those still clinging to the ridiculous notion that he doesn't deserve to be in the HOF, every single eligible player in the top 50 on this list is in the HOF.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/RC_career.shtml