Blog Entry

Guillen believes Beckham whiffing too much

Posted on: June 24, 2010 2:04 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2010 2:15 pm
 
Gordon Beckham Gordon Beckham had a rapid ascension to the major leagues after being the eighth overall pick in 2008. He made his debut June 4, 2009 and went on to post a strong .270/.347/.460 line in 102 games as a 22-year old.

In the offseason, Beckham was shifted to second base and expected to be a significant offensive contributor, starting the season batting second. However, he has now been moved to ninth and may be on his way to the bench in a platoon situation after suffering a debilitating sophomore slump.

Beckham is batting a scant .199./270/.251, one of the worst offensive performers in the game. Yet, he still gets in the lineup every day and has amassed 231 at-bats on the year and whiffed 48 times which puts him on pace for 113 whiffs.

Manager Ozzie Guillen is now contemplating putting Beckham in a platoon situation with Omar Vizquel as a way to get 21-year-old Dayan Viciedo more playing time. Even though Beckham is struggling in every facet of the offensive game, the manager chose to focus on the strikeouts as Beckham's negative.

"If you strike out like that, you got to hit 40 home runs and hit .250," Guillen told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.

"When you're batting ninth, [you're] the one guy has to put the ball in play," Guillen continued. "A lot of swings and misses, and only one home run. When you swing and miss and strike out that much, you got to be Jim Thome. You got to be that type of guy. But I'm really concerned about the strikeout situation."

Guillen seems to be overstating things a bit as strikeouts have been on the rise in recent years. In Guillen's playing career, 48 whiffs through 64 games would absolutely be cause for concern, but Beckham is tied for 82nd with five other players in 2010 strikeouts.

Yes, Beckham is certainly whiffing too much for someone that is batting .199, but anyone batting .199 strikes out too much. The problem is an overall offensive approach, not strikeouts. Other people are striking just as much as Beckham and producing.

Of Beckham's compatriots with 48 whiffs, Russell Branyan has 10 home runs, Jason Kubel is an important part of the Twins offense, Stephen Drew is a starting shortstop with a secure job, and Sean Rodriguez and Cliff Pennington both play part-time for the Rays and Athletics, respectively -- meaning their strikeout rate is actually higher than Beckham's.

It seems as if Guillen is looking at things from when he played, not how things are now. You definitely don't have to be Jim Thome to register 113 whiffs a year. In 2009, Bobby Abreu was 54th in the league with 113 whiffs, and Chone Figgins had 114. This is a completely new game, and these comments by Guillen should make one question if he understands the game as it is today to properly manage it.

-- Evan Brunell

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Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 11, 2011 1:55 pm
 

Guillen believes Beckham whiffing too much

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Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: June 25, 2010 2:05 pm
 

Maybe Evan Brunell is the one whiffing too much

If Evan Brunell believes that Ozzie's comments are indicative of someone that doesn't undestand the game as it is today, the Brunell does not understand Guillen's ability to get the most out of his players - something that he is outstanding at.  If you want some evidence of Ozzie's ability to manage, then consider this:  The White Sox are currently 11th in the AL - out of 14 - in Hitting (BA = .250) and they are 9th in Pitching (ERA = 4.30).  Those are player performance indicators, and both indicators would lead you to believe that they are performing at well below average for the AL.  Yet, the team is now 37-34.  So Ozzie is getting more from his TEAM than what his players' performance would seem to indicate.

Ozzie clearly wants Beckham to refocus on being the contact hitter he was last year, so he is going to the media with his comment about whiffing.  Ozzie plays the media to his liking, to either deflect criticism or to attract attention to his players.  So, don't underestimate Guillen as a manager - because in today's game, he is one of the best!



Since: Feb 4, 2008
Posted on: June 25, 2010 11:13 am
 

Guillen believes Beckham whiffing too much

makes me wonder if Brunell understands writing as it is today.


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