I honestly cannot express how much man-love I have for Gordon Beckham right now (no homo). Just about everything he does on the field looks good.
Even if he screws up on a grounder, it seems okay because he's not really a third baseman. If he strikes out, you will think, "hey, at least he made the pitcher throw 3 pitches."
Basically, he can do no wrong because he does so much right.
Beckham, the #8 overall pick out of the University of Georgia in last year's draft, was not even an official member of the White Sox one year ago to this day. Yet, here he is in Chicago, hitting .311 with an .860 OPS, and 17, yes count 'em, 17 doubles while the White Sox are in the midst of a battle for the AL Central. Talk about being a stud.
His defense might not be sparkling with his -3.4 UZR (which translates to a -7.3 UZR/150), but he is a natural middle infielder, not a corner infielder. It's extremely hard to adjust to a new position that requires much faster reflexes. Thus, his bad defense to this point is excusable. The good thing is that he seems to be improving, at least I think so. But then again, nothing he does looks bad in my eyes.
Possibly the best quality (or intangible) that Beckham has is the way he goes about his business. He looks poised at the plate, he has the mindset of, "I'm better and I'm going to shove this ball up your ass if I have to", he thrives in big situations, and he has a good time while doing all of this. At this point in his career, he probably isn't a leader vocally, but he can sure back up his swagger with his play on the field.
His skillset reminds me a lot of Michael Young and his ability to lead almost reminds me of Derek Jeter. It's very early to put Gordon into the Young and Jeter category right now as both of those guys are accomplished all-stars and Beckham's nothing but a rookie. However, you can't go wrong thinking this guy can be something special. Sooner or later, his doubles will turn into home runs and he'll be considered one of the premiere middle infielders in the league.
In a year where there are very few rookie sensations in the American League, Beckham looks to be one of the front-runners for the award if he continues his fine play. His opponents include guys like Nolan Reimold, David Price, Rick Porcello, Matt Wieters, Brad Bergesen, Jeff Niemann, Ricky Romero, Elvis Andrus, and Andrew Bailey. I might be missing some, but those are some rookies out there who have put up good numbers.
In my opinion, Beckham's main opponents are Andrus, Romero, Porcello, and Niemann. If anything, Andrus will be his biggest competetion since he is an every day player. Niemann, Romero, and Porcello have been decent, but not stellar enough to possibly beat out a position player of Beckham's magnitude.