It's a tremendous testament to what phenomenal teases Dayan Viciedo and Gordon Beckham are that they have both have had streaks this season that led to wide speculation that they had made real improvements to their game, and now, streaks that have led to wider speculation that they have exhausted all reasonable hope of developing into worthwhile players. Or it's just a damning statement about my analysis. Either way...
Dayan Viciedo was the worst regular hitter in the sport in June, yet Beckham might be completing his death cycle with more purpose. Beckham is hitting .091/.125/.136 in July, and is 1-22 since the All-Star Break. He currently has an atrocious--even for this year's offensive environment--batting line of .224/.274/.355. The 70 wRC+ he currently has would be the worst of his career--worse than 2011, somehow.
Beckham's slow bat and struggles to handle top velocity has been well-documented. His walk rate has diminished as pitchers challenged him down the pipe, his power has been below-average, and his one decent skill--making contact--is negated by a tendency for pop-ups, and his current career-high groundball rate is coupled with looking like he's lost a step or two going from home to first. Hot months are the exception, not a return to form.
Viciedo, with less at-bats to his name, was already being pushed out of the fold, and only given a sort of second life by Avisail Garcia's torn labrum. Beckham's hold on second base is less purposeful. Marcus Semien reproduced Beckham's numbers during his time in Chicago while striking out 30% of the time. Carlos Sanchez has already made his major league debut and has had designs on Beckham's job for at least two years now. Micah Johnson might actually be something approaching a long-term solution, and is starting in Triple-A. Tyler Saladino is of a similar defensive skillset, at least and probably can't hit any worse. The only member of this group who is a worrisome risk to hit worse than 70 wRC+ is Leury Garcia, and even then...screw it, let Leury bunt himself silly and scamper around. It might be fun.
This is obviously trashing Beckham a low point, but we've seen the highs and they're wholly uninspiring. While we dream of a hot streak changing perceptions of Beckham to a team desperate team, the market indicates other teams the Sox are already getting shortchanged as is:
I look at this tweet and see "evaluators" say it's not worth it to pay Beckham $1.6 million to play the rest of the year, and am inclined to agree.
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