As a first overall pick who was given over six million as a signing bonus by the Tampa Bay Rays back in 2008, it’s safe to say infielder Tim Beckham‘s big-league career has been underwhelming so far. The 29-year old didn’t make his big-league debut until 2013, five years after he was drafted. Getting suspended for violating the minor-league drug program and encountering injuries along the way then hampered his development at the major-league level. Beckham didn’t play a full season in the bigs until 2017, where he hit .278 with 22 homers in 137 games.
The Georgia native has a career .252 batting average, which is definitely not ideal for a guy who was considered a five-tool player coming out of high school. But it’s not like the talent isn’t there with Beckham. He has dealt with a lot of injuries and never been able to really get into a groove in the majors.
Beckham was productive in the second half of 2017. He was traded from the Rays to the Baltimore Orioles and hit an impressive .306 in 50 games with the Orioles. In 2018 he only hit .230, but again, a big reason for that was because he spent a lot of time on the disabled list.
Now Beckham is with the Seattle Mariners after signing a one-year deal with the club in the offseason. He should be their primary shortstop this season if he stays healthy. In Seattle’s opening series in Japan against the Oakland Athletics, Beckham was spectacular. He went 3-for-3 with a home run in the first game and 2-for-4 with a double in the second game. It was a solid start to the year for Beckham and exactly what he needs.
Taking care of his body and staying in the lineup is obviously very important for Beckham. But being with a brand new club on a one-year deal, it’s a fresh start for him. When he was with Tampa Bay, there was obviously a ton of expectations based on how high the organization drafted him. The best thing for Beckham was to get out of Florida and join a new organization. He did relatively well with Baltimore in his first year, but then in 2018, injuries haunted him once again.
If he can really impress with the Mariners this year, he could receive a longer-term deal with them after the 2019 season. He has all the tools to be successful in the big leagues. Beckham is a solid infielder with a very strong arm. He has got speed on the basepaths and can hit for power and average. We’ve seen glimpses of his talent at times when he is at 100 percent, but it’s been far and few between.
It would really be nice to see Beckham tap into his true potential with an exciting Mariners team; he will have the opportunity to do so.
If injuries can stay away from the 29-year old this season, we could finally see the former first overall pick put up the type of numbers that he is capable of. Seattle may see J.P. Crawford as their shortstop of the future, but if Beckham impresses this year, he could force their hand and stay beyond 2019.