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Gordon Beckham Write-Up


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I figured I'd throw Camden Depot's hat into the ring (shameless plug alert). Our write-up on Beckham is the first of six covering potential first round picks for Baltimore. I hope to have two more posts (for a total of 8) covering round 2-3 and 4-5. Tomorrow I will try to have Posey and Smoak up. Hope you enjoy the read!

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I figured I'd throw Camden Depot's hat into the ring (shameless plug alert). Our write-up on Beckham is the first of six covering potential first round picks for Baltimore. I hope to have two more posts (for a total of 8) covering round 2-3 and 4-5. Tomorrow I will try to have Posey and Smoak up. Hope you enjoy the read!

Maybe you are on over here . . .

What makes the hitch OK for the college pitching, but not the pros?

Is it because:

A) a lighter bat gives you more time to swing

B) a greater "sweet spot" allows you to hit the ball well even if mistimed

C) something else

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Maybe you are on over here . . .

What makes the hitch OK for the college pitching, but not the pros?

Is it because:

A) a lighter bat gives you more time to swing

B) a greater "sweet spot" allows you to hit the ball well even if mistimed

C) something else

Sorry, just responded. Here is what I wrote:

Yeah, that's basically it. The easiest way to conceptualize it is "the shorter your swing, the longer you can wait to start it and the faster you can get the bat to the ball". This is more important at higher levels because 1) pitching tends to be faster and the bats are heavier, 2) pitching is located more effectively making bat control and pitch ID more important (the extra split second you can wait to swing makes a huge difference in differentiating between a fastball and a slider, for example), and 3) the breaking stuff is better (this ties into #2 -- if you have to start your swing prior to properly IDing the pitch you'll have a much harder time squaring up on the ball when it breaks).

Shorter version -- what you said above.

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I figured I'd throw Camden Depot's hat into the ring (shameless plug alert). Our write-up on Beckham is the first of six covering potential first round picks for Baltimore. I hope to have two more posts (for a total of 8) covering round 2-3 and 4-5. Tomorrow I will try to have Posey and Smoak up. Hope you enjoy the read!

Great stuff Stotle. May I suggest you put a video clip of Beckham's swing with your article. His swing and the perceived holes in it seem to be the hot topic with him and whether he is worthy of the #4 pick.

Here's a pretty good clip of Beckham fielding and hitting from youtube:

He looks very smooth on defense. He does have a big loop in his swing that will need to be corrected for him to be successful at the next level.

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Great stuff Stotle. May I suggest you put a video clip of Beckham's swing with your article. His swing and the perceived holes in it seem to be the hot topic with him and whether he is worthy of the #4 pick.

Here's a pretty good clip of Beckham fielding and hitting from youtube:

He looks very smooth on defense. He does have a big loop in his swing that will need to be corrected for him to be successful at the next level.

I actually already have that linked in the comments section. He does look smooth on defense.

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Great stuff Stotle. May I suggest you put a video clip of Beckham's swing with your article. His swing and the perceived holes in it seem to be the hot topic with him and whether he is worthy of the #4 pick.

Here's a pretty good clip of Beckham fielding and hitting from youtube:

He looks very smooth on defense. He does have a big loop in his swing that will need to be corrected for him to be successful at the next level.

Sorry to disappoint -- I don't think I'll have time to transfer the game film to my computer this week. Perhaps when NoVoA posts his write-up he'll let us use his video on our site, as well.

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Interesting write-up...

One thing I noticed is that you state going into this season, he was not considered a top 15 pick... this link below shows Baseball America did.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/colum...ark&id=3358555

Baseball America named Beckham the 12th-best pro prospect for the 2008 amateur draft before the season started.

The summation was intersting… and it is a resaonble question to ask if the hitch in his swing will allow him to be successful with a wooden bat…. But I think the fact that he dominated the Cape Cod league should help address that question, even if it was only against college pitching.

I also like Beckham's own quote when asked about using a wooden bat:

College Baseball Prospects: How tough was it to adjust to the wood bats being used in Cape Cod this summer? Did you have to change your approach at all?

Gordon Beckham: I actually enjoy wood bats more than metal. I realized there is a lot less room for error and I guess tried to tighten up my swing. I tried to do less, and by doing so I did more.

Hmmm. As of February 11, 2008 Baseball America's Plus Scouting Service ranked G-Bex the 16th best college player, putting him in the 20-30 range overall.

http://prospectsplus.baseballamerica.com/rankings/?rank=college&year=2008

Your link isn't working for me, but I am going to assume that ESPN was not using the right rankings. Not that any of us would be surprised that ESPN messed up in doing, or simply did not do, their homework ;)

Regarding the Cape, it's definitely a cause for optimism. I don't remember if I pointed this out in the write-up or not (I tried not to drag on too long) but I don't see him running into trouble until the high minors. Against A-ball pitching, he'll still see enough mistakes and unrefined stuff to mash. I think when he runs into pitching that can consistently change speeds and command the strike zone, the fact that he needs to start his swing a little early could catch up with him.

I read that interview as well -- I love his confidence and humility. Seems like a great kid and a hard worker. I still stand behind the stance that I don't necessarily think he is worth all the risk at #4, but I truly hope he has a successful career. He is a lot of fun to watch.

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For non-scouting service members, here is the list up to Beckham:

1. Pedro Alvarez 3b Jr. L-R 6-2 225 Vanderbilt

2. Brian Matusz lhp Jr. L-L 6-4 193 San Diego

3. Aaron Crow rhp Jr. R-R 6-2 195 Missouri

4. Justin Smoak 1b Jr. B-L 6-4 215 South Carolina

5. Yonder Alonso 1b Jr. L-L 6-2 215 Miami

6. Christian Friedrich lhp Jr. R-L 6-3 208 Eastern Kentucky

7. Brett Hunter rhp Jr. R-R 6-4 215 Pepperdine

8. Buster Posey c Jr. R-R 6-2 200 Florida State

9. Ryan Perry rhp Jr. R-R 6-4 200 Arizona

10. Shooter Hunt rhp Jr. R-R 6-3 200 Tulane

11. Jacob Thompson rhp Jr. R-R 6-6 215 Virginia

12. Dennis Raben of Jr. L-L 6-3 220 Miami

13. Luke Burnett rhp Jr. R-R 6-8 260 Louisiana Tech

14. Tanner Scheppers rhp Jr. R-R 6-4 200 Fresno State

15. Cody Satterwhite rhp Jr. R-R 6-4 205 Mississippi

16. Gordon Beckham ss Jr. R-R 6-0 181 Georgia

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I figured I'd throw Camden Depot's hat into the ring (shameless plug alert). Our write-up on Beckham is the first of six covering potential first round picks for Baltimore. I hope to have two more posts (for a total of 8) covering round 2-3 and 4-5. Tomorrow I will try to have Posey and Smoak up. Hope you enjoy the read!

Shameless plug alert... hmmmmmm, I like that. May I borrow that line? :D

As usual, interesting read. I love these sort of analysis, as it points out potential issues from a true mechanics viewpoint. Well done. I don't know enough about these things to offer an opinion, so... we'll see. :)

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Shameless plug alert... hmmmmmm, I like that. May I borrow that line? :D

As usual, interesting read. I love these sort of analysis, as it points out potential issues from a true mechanics viewpoint. Well done. I don't know enough about these things to offer an opinion, so... we'll see. :)

I think it's an easy correctable flaw. Beckham alluded to it himself in making the transition to the wooden bat for the Cape Cod league. Simply by lowering his hands during his set up will help alleviate some of his hitch and shorten his swing.

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I think it's an easy correctable flaw. Beckham alluded to it himself in making the transition to the wooden bat for the Cape Cod league. Simply by lowering his hands during his set up will help alleviate some of his hitch and shorten his swing.

I agree that it is a correctable flaw, but I wonder how much the correction will hurt his other abilities. Stotle has mentioned it before, but I wonder how Todd Frazier relates here. He had a similar issue. I don't know if he corrected it or not, but there seems to be a significant drop in production from what I would have expected.

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I think it's an easy correctable flaw. Beckham alluded to it himself in making the transition to the wooden bat for the Cape Cod league. Simply by lowering his hands during his set up will help alleviate some of his hitch and shorten his swing.

Eh, the issue is his elbow and leaving his hands back as his body moves forward, creating space between his hands and body. It is certainly correctible, but how "easy" it will be remains to be seen. Beckham has gotten very comfortable with his swing and his approach; it will take a fair amount of work to overhaul the first half (load through the swing). He seems like the type of player who will put in the work, but I'm not sure we can just write it off as a non-issue.

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Eh, the issue is his elbow and leaving his hands back as his body moves forward, creating space between his hands and body. It is certainly correctible, but how "easy" it will be remains to be seen. Beckham has gotten very comfortable with his swing and his approach; it will take a fair amount of work to overhaul the first half (load through the swing). He seems like the type of player who will put in the work, but I'm not sure we can just write it off as a non-issue.

Do you know if Frazier changed his mechanics?

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