6/5: 2008 MLB Draft

2008 MLB Draft 

2:00; ESPN 2
Lake Buena Vista, FL

As you all know, the Rays have the No. 1 overall selection in today's MLB draft for the second year in a row, and they will take Georgia High School SS Tim Beckham with the No. 1 overall pick. Here is some information on Beckham:

T_beckham__griffin__medium

via bp2.blogger.com

From Baseball Prospectus' preview of the Top 50 talents:

1. Tim Beckham, SS, Griffin HS (GA)
What He Is: That up-the-middle player who offers the best combination of tools and potential in the draft.
What He’s Not: A guy who grades out as well as the Upton brothers did, so let’s end those comps here and now.
In A Perfect World He Becomes: An All-Star shortstop who hits 20 home runs, steals 40 bases, and plays above-average defense
Backup Plan: Center field
Open Issues: Arguments remain over his ability to stay at shortstop--the athleticism is there, but his fundamentals are shaky--and ultimate power ceiling.

From Baseball America's profile (Sub only):

Beckham solidified his status as the nation's top high school position player last year when he produced the most impressive overall performance on the summer showcase circuit. He was consistently the best player at each event he attended and capped his performance by winning MVP honors at the Aflac Classic at the end of the summer. A wiry, athletic shortstop, Beckham hasn't produced eye-popping performances this spring, but his track record and projection make him the nation's most coveted high school prospect. He has five legitimate tools. At the plate he has the ability to be an above-average hitter with average power. He's a solid runner and his athleticism is a part of his everyday game. In the field, Beckham has smooth major league actions with an above-average arm. He has drawn comparisons to the Upton brothers, though he has more aptitude in the field and not quite the lightning in the bat. His makeup is a plus, as he displays an enjoyment of the game and energy on the field. He has a commitment to Southern California, but Beckham won't reach campus as he's a likely top 10 pick.

From BrewerFan.net's profile:

Beckham is the type of athlete that makes everything he does look easy. He glides to balls hit deep in the hole to either side of him, and runs the bases gracefully, stretching singles into doubles and doubles into triples. He has good arm strength, soft hands and good instincts that should allow him to star at shortstop for years to come. While his defense draws more raves that his bat, he has improved at the plate over the last year and is now considered a legitimate threat, as he stings the ball to all parts of the field and has also shown the ability to hit the ball out as his body continues to mature and add strength.

From SaberScouting's Bio:

Bio: 6′0, 188, Bats R, Throws R, 18 years old
 The Skinny: Beckham has been coming on hard toward the top spot since the pre-season high school showcases, where he was wowing scouts at each stop. Beckham flashed elite glovework that will play at short in the big leagues, an advanced bat, and the athleticism, makeup, and aptitude to project across the board. Some question his power projection and prefer surer bets from the college ranks. On the other hand, there’s a chance for 5 plus tools and a team willing to take some risk has a good chance at having a future star at the most premium position. Beckham’s the favorite to go #1 to Tampa Bay.
 Pros: Athleticism, Glove, Bat
 Cons: Power, Distance from MLB
 Comparison: Edgar Renteria with more power

MiLB.com has a profile of Beckham along with all of the other top draft candidates, and their page has video as well. Their take on Beckham:

A bonafide five-tool player at a premium position, there's a reason why Beckham is at or near the top of Draft lists everywhere. He's got tools galore, with some idea of how to use them. He'll need to iron out some things mechanically and fundamentally, but he's got the ability and potential to hit, hit for power, steal bases and stay at shortstop at the big-league level.

From his Perfect Game profile:

Tim Beckham is a 2008 SS with a 6'2'', 191 lb. frame from Kennesaw, GA who attends Griffin HS. Strong athletic build. Top level athlete, extremely fast (6.33) with fast twitch actions. Electric hands with bat, explosive quickness, ball jumps hard, simple hitting approach, sees the ball and attacks it, power to all fields. Fluid defensive actions, has some flash, can make all the plays. Elite level athlete with baseball skills.

And here are Beckham's statistics:

.500/.782/.795
 
 AB: 78
 Runs: 40
 Hits: 39
 Doubles: 9
 Triples: 3
 HR: 5
 Total bases: 62
 Walks: 22
 Strikeouts: 5
 Sacrifice flies: 4
 Stolen bases: 16
 RBI: 31

Some other good Beckham-related links:

Baseball America

Baseball Digest Daily (includes swing analysis to B.J. Upton)

RiseMag

USC Trojans31

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Sports Illustrated

Aflac All American Profile

Camden Depot

USA Today

McCovey Chronicles

AP Report on Beckham's basketball love

CBS News report on Beckham

TSN.ca draft report

Credit (and blame, should the need arise) goes to R.J. for the research.

Lastly, we wouldn't want to forget the other four rounds in which the Rays are drafting today. This link will take you to the complete order of the draft, with supplemental rounds and all, but to be succinct, here are the Rays' other selections today:

Round 2 (47th Overall)

Round 3 (78th Overall)

Round 4 (113th Overall)

Round 5 (143rd Overall)

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