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View Full Version : Gordon Beckham might be one of the unluckiest hitters in the league


DonnieDarko
08-07-2012, 03:53 PM
http://www.fangraphs.com/comparison.aspx?playerid=9015&playerid2=&playerid3=&position=3B&page=7&type=full

Beckham's BABIP so far this year, according to this graph, is .250. Keep in mind that the league average is right around .300. What does this mean? As far as I understand this stat, it means that he's just a very unlucky line drive hitter. Still lends crescidence to my feelings that I think he's a much better hitter than he's shown so far in his career.

Noneck
08-07-2012, 04:10 PM
Im sorry but when I see an everyday player with an OBP for the last 2 years averaging around .285, excuses dont cut it.

Domeshot17
08-07-2012, 04:14 PM
http://www.fangraphs.com/comparison.aspx?playerid=9015&playerid2=&playerid3=&position=3B&page=7&type=full

Beckham's BABIP so far this year, according to this graph, is .250. Keep in mind that the league average is right around .300. What does this mean? As far as I understand this stat, it means that he's just a very unlucky line drive hitter. Still lends crescidence to my feelings that I think he's a much better hitter than he's shown so far in his career.

Ehh, Thats tough to say. He is a tremendous defender, but he will always be an "unlucky" hitter until he cleans up the hitches in his swing. If you want to see the impact of not making solid contact through the hitting planes, look at Adam Dunn last year. His bat did not stay in the zone long enough which led to weak contact and no power. Gordon's hitch is causing the exact same problem which is why he makes such weak contact.

I think the low BABIP tends to come from him not making solid contact. If he would focus on short, quick contact, the guy could hit 250 with a bunch of doubles, but the hitch is still there, hard habit to break.

DonnieDarko
08-07-2012, 04:17 PM
What is this "hitch" you speak of in his swing? I've heard this spoken of before with others players, but I have yet to see somoene adequately explain it to me.

Huisj
08-07-2012, 04:21 PM
But there's more to BABIP than just luck. You gotta dig a little deeper and see what kind of contact he's making.

His GB/FB ratio is 0.63, while league average is around 0.80.

His line drive % is a low 16% (league average is 19%), and his infield flyball per flyball hit percentage is high at 20% (last year was 23%). League average is 13%. His HR per flyball is below league average too.

To sum it up, it seems he hits the ball in the air a lot, but a low number of those results in line drives or homers, and a high number results in infield popups. While there might be some factor of "luck" involved too, weak fly outs and pop outs do not help your BABIP.

PatK
08-07-2012, 04:38 PM
He's starting to make it look like Joe Crede had a short swing.

DeadMoney
08-07-2012, 04:50 PM
He's starting to make it look like Joe Crede had a short swing.

I actually said to a friend last night: If Gordon can go on a 2 month 05' Crede-like tear, we'd be in GREAT shape. I'm not sure he has it in him, but prior to September and October of '05, I never thought I'd see that from Crede either.

It'd certainly be nice if Backham could pull something like that off.

Noneck
08-07-2012, 05:10 PM
I actually said to a friend last night: If Gordon can go on a 2 month 05' Crede-like tear, we'd be in GREAT shape. I'm not sure he has it in him, but prior to September and October of '05, I never thought I'd see that from Crede either.

It'd certainly be nice if Backham could pull something like that off.

At this point I'd take a Crede 2004 from Beckham.

Foulke You
08-07-2012, 05:45 PM
What is this "hitch" you speak of in his swing? I've heard this spoken of before with others players, but I have yet to see somoene adequately explain it to me.
It has to do with the way he "loads" his swing. When the hitch is really bad, he would jerk his hands and right elbow in a large backward motion before swinging forwards. By the time your forward motion begins, an MLB pitcher has already thrown it past you. The hitch slows up his swing just enough to make him late which is why Gordon fouls so many pitches straight back. However, I will say that since Manto has arrived, the hitch isn't as bad and Beckham is back to using a wider stance and his hands seem to be in better position to hit.

DonnieDarko
08-07-2012, 05:51 PM
It has to do with the way he "loads" his swing. When the hitch is really bad, he would jerk his hands and right elbow in a large backward motion before swinging forwards.

Okay, so kinda like what Josh Fields had a problem with his swing? Where he would pull his hands back right after the pitch left the pitcher's hand?

Domeshot17
08-07-2012, 05:55 PM
Okay, so kinda like what Josh Fields had a problem with his swing? Where he would pull his hands back right after the pitch left the pitcher's hand?

Kind of, yes. Very few hitters have fast enough hands to hitch on MLB pitching. With Gordon, his hitch actually generates power, which is why he was such a monster in college, but when you start seeing harder/faster pitching, you can't catch up.

Gordon's hitch is also in a strange position in his swing, which causes his bat to leave the hitting zone too often.

Bob Roarman
08-07-2012, 06:02 PM
But there's more to BABIP than just luck. You gotta dig a little deeper and see what kind of contact he's making.

His GB/FB ratio is 0.63, while league average is around 0.80.

His line drive % is a low 16% (league average is 19%), and his infield flyball per flyball hit percentage is high at 20% (last year was 23%). League average is 13%. His HR per flyball is below league average too.

To sum it up, it seems he hits the ball in the air a lot, but a low number of those results in line drives or homers, and a high number results in infield popups. While there might be some factor of "luck" involved too, weak fly outs and pop outs do not help your BABIP.

That and he's been swinging at pitches outside the strike zone more every season. He went from swing at non-strikes 24% his rookie season to now around 36% today. And his contact on those pitches has improved (which isn't really a good thing) from 59% his rookie year to now at almost 73%. Which means, as you pointed out, a lot of weak fly balls and pop outs. Not hard line drives that just happen to be at a fielder.

I saw him say a little while back that he thinks he's hitting a "hard" .220 or whatever his average was at the time, well he's not. He's not unlucky, he's hitting pretty much exactly what he "deserves" to be hitting.

Frater Perdurabo
08-07-2012, 07:36 PM
Gordon's hitch is also in a strange position in his swing, which causes his bat to leave the hitting zone too often.

It seemed that his HR against the Royals and almost-HR against the Angels were hit from offspeed pitches; it would seem that the hitch keeps him from catching up to an MLB fastball but he still can get to the offspeed stuff.

dickallen15
08-07-2012, 07:58 PM
It seemed that his HR against the Royals and almost-HR against the Angels were hit from offspeed pitches; it would seem that the hitch keeps him from catching up to an MLB fastball but he still can get to the offspeed stuff.
He was hitting better in the 2 hole when he was seeing more fastballs.

balke
08-07-2012, 08:24 PM
He got pretty lucky 2 nights in a row now.

Beckham has been awful at the plate for over a month. I'm not going to complain though - great defense with a chance to make up for it at season's end.

guillensdisciple
08-07-2012, 09:11 PM
Oh look, more sox fans trying to make excuses for a player who is not that good offensively.

Hello Brian Anderson, it's nice to see you.

SI1020
08-07-2012, 09:27 PM
It has to do with the way he "loads" his swing. When the hitch is really bad, he would jerk his hands and right elbow in a large backward motion before swinging forwards. By the time your forward motion begins, an MLB pitcher has already thrown it past you. The hitch slows up his swing just enough to make him late which is why Gordon fouls so many pitches straight back. However, I will say that since Manto has arrived, the hitch isn't as bad and Beckham is back to using a wider stance and his hands seem to be in better position to hit. I agree. I've posted this all over boards until I'm blue in the face but Beckham did not have as pronounced a hitch at Georgia and in his abbreviated rookie year. His swing was quick and fluid. I don't know what happened to him but agree that there has been some improvement this year.


Okay, so kinda like what Josh Fields had a problem with his swing? Where he would pull his hands back right after the pitch left the pitcher's hand? Joe Crede with a similar problem with his swing. Crede fixed his but then his back gave out.

voodoochile
08-07-2012, 09:50 PM
Oh look, more sox fans trying to make excuses for a player who is not that good offensively.

Hello Brian Anderson, it's nice to see you.

NOOOOOOO! Must... not... get... sucked... back... in...

Tragg
08-07-2012, 09:55 PM
The sad thing is that if he hit .260 and was mediocre defensively, there wouldn't be near the complaints about him, although his value would be far less than it is now.
Just as with Anderson it's not like we have an alternative who can hit a lick.

guillensdisciple
08-07-2012, 10:26 PM
NOOOOOOO! Must... not... get... sucked... back... in...

Hahahaha yep,

That's why I try and limit my complaints and admiration of him. Otherwise I'll just get caught up with that again. Maybe we'll be okay if we just accept him for a gifted defensive player with limited offensive talent.

WhiteSox5187
08-07-2012, 10:53 PM
He was hitting better in the 2 hole when he was seeing more fastballs.

I thought he really did a good job of cutting down on his hitch when he was in the number two spot, he went to more of a leg kick than the thing with his hands. I thought his main problem then was that he had a tendency to pull his head off the ball. Since being dropped down though his hitch has returned. I am not sure why that is.

voodoochile
08-07-2012, 10:53 PM
Hahahaha yep,

That's why I try and limit my complaints and admiration of him. Otherwise I'll just get caught up with that again. Maybe we'll be okay if we just accept him for a gifted defensive player with limited offensive talent.

Well as with BA, if Beckham can get his OPS close to .750 I think most of us would be fine with him. He seemed to be heading that way for a while earlier this year. He even broke .700 briefly but then tailed off again.

Defensively, Beckham has some of the best range I can recall at second in my life as a Sox fan. He sets up well, has a real nice glove and a strong arm. Just need him to be a little more consistent at the plate. Maybe these last two games he's on to something again as he was earlier this year when he had a nice run.

doublem23
08-08-2012, 03:23 PM
Hahahaha yep,

That's why I try and limit my complaints and admiration of him. Otherwise I'll just get caught up with that again. Maybe we'll be okay if we just accept him for a gifted defensive player with limited offensive talent.

At least with Beckham, we all realize that to this point he's been a very underwhelming player offensively, but he's played regularly since he was called up a few years ago.

With BA, there was always this belief amongst his fans that if he could just get regular playing time, he'd be fine. I don't know if that was true or not, but I do know that everytime I watched BA bat, he sucked.

SoxSpeed22
08-08-2012, 03:33 PM
Unlike Anderson, Beckham actually gives a **** and has been getting much better. He's still one of the best defensive second basemen in the league and he is miles ahead of where he was last year.

TomBradley72
08-08-2012, 04:03 PM
I just don't have that big of an issue with Beckham's offense- he's a GG level 2nd baseman- who's on pace for .240-15-60- completely acceptable to me given the offense we're getting from the other 8 starters.

I'm not giving up on his ability to still improve and turn it around-

PatK
08-08-2012, 04:31 PM
Oh look, more sox fans trying to make excuses for a player who is not that good offensively.

Hello Brian Anderson, it's nice to see you.

Who's making excuses?

It seems to me that it's more like people explaining why he's not hitting.

SCCWS
08-08-2012, 04:32 PM
I just don't have that big of an issue with Beckham's offense- he's a GG level 2nd baseman- who's on pace for .240-15-60- completely acceptable to me given the offense we're getting from the other 8 starters.

I'm not giving up on his ability to still improve and turn it around-

You may be being generous with your pace numbers. .240 may be a stretch. Hopefully the renewed home-run stroke means he is going to get hot. Presently, Beckham has the worst on base percentage of any 2nd baseman in the majors. But as I posted yesterday, the Youk for Morel change and the normal surge of Alexei in the summer has made the lack of production from Gordon less of a problem.

balke
08-08-2012, 06:37 PM
Unlike Anderson, Beckham actually gives a **** and has been getting much better. He's still one of the best defensive second basemen in the league and he is miles ahead of where he was last year.


This is probably the worst I remember Beckham being. He's hit .188 the past 30 games with 2 HRs. His OBP is .240ish

Brian Anderson and Gordon Beckham are essentially the same hitter/player. .230avg .290obp .370slg

Gordo has many more miles to go as a hitter if he wants to feel irreplaceable.

#1swisher
08-08-2012, 06:51 PM
I thought he really did a good job of cutting down on his hitch when he was in the number two spot, he went to more of a leg kick than the thing with his hands. I thought his main problem then was that he had a tendency to pull his head off the ball. Since being dropped down though his hitch has returned. I am not sure why that is.

Gordon's back in the #2 spot, 8/8 Lineup:
De Aza CF, Beckham 2B, Dunn 1B, Youkilis 3B, Pierzynski C, Ramirez SS, Viciedo LF, Danks RF, Hudson DH, (Quintana P)

MisterB
08-08-2012, 08:07 PM
Well, one thing Beckham and Anderson have in common is that the Sox decided to let them get by on natural talent rather than actually teach them how to hit major league pitching.

DSpivack
08-08-2012, 08:30 PM
Well, one thing Beckham and Anderson have in common is that the Sox decided to let them get by on natural talent rather than actually teach them how to hit major league pitching.

Beckham at least had initial success and has gotten worse; BA may have homered (twice?) off of King Felix early on, but never did much in the big leagues at the bat.

balke
08-08-2012, 09:48 PM
Presently, Beckham has the worst on base percentage of any 2nd baseman in the majors.

Yikes - looking further he is also 4th to last in OPS. 5th to last in average.

Overall... He's with Ackley Carrol and Jemile Weeks as worst overall qualified 2B as a hitter.

all*star quentin
08-10-2012, 11:55 PM
A.J. joking that Beckham might cry with PK out with a concussion. Nobody for him to talk to constantly about his swing. :redneck

Suntimes (http://blogs.suntimes.com/whitesox/)

Tragg
08-10-2012, 11:59 PM
Beckham's been left alone too - he's in the lineup every day.
Anderson was a constant in the lineup maybe for 1/2 a season; and that's mainly because Guillen had a weak spot for these grindy, lunging, slap hitting outfielders who couldn't hit either.
In the end, Anderson couldn't hit.
Beckham - hope he improves.

Noneck
08-11-2012, 12:03 AM
Nobody for him to talk to constantly about his swing. :redneck




Maybe Beckham should stop talking and start listening instead.

slavko
08-11-2012, 12:11 AM
Beckham's been left alone too - he's in the lineup every day.
Anderson was a constant in the lineup maybe for 1/2 a season; and that's mainly because Guillen had a weak spot for these grindy, lunging, slap hitting outfielders who couldn't hit either.
In the end, Anderson couldn't hit.
Beckham - hope he improves.

A friend of mine...all right it was me...once got **** on this board for calling him BAeckham. They're closer than most of you want to admit.

There's always hope. But always is a long time.

Mohoney
08-11-2012, 07:42 AM
I agree. I've posted this all over boards until I'm blue in the face but Beckham did not have as pronounced a hitch at Georgia and in his abbreviated rookie year. His swing was quick and fluid. I don't know what happened to him but agree that there has been some improvement this year.


Joe Crede with a similar problem with his swing. Crede fixed his but then his back gave out.

Maybe Beckham didn't get enough minor league ABs with a wood bat?

voodoochile
08-12-2012, 03:03 PM
Apparently not...:tongue:

DonnieDarko
08-12-2012, 03:11 PM
Apparently not...:tongue:

Evidently not, as he's proven to me these past few games. Heck, only reason he was on base today was because the A's 2B was having a crappy day on the field. :tongue: