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Rays Tank: Welcome back, Beckham

Tim Beckham returns home for a chance to fulfill a lifelong dream.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Marc Topkin writes that tonight's game against the Braves will be no small moment for infielder Tim Beckham. The Atlanta native grew up just around the corner, and tonight's game will be the culmination of a young lifetime of work, all to get him to Turner Field:

"One day I might be playing in this stadium," [Beckham] said. "I dreamed about playing in this stadium. There's a lot of history in the Braves stadium. I witnessed a lot of history there. It's an honor to play at Turner Field."

It was almost 15 minutes ago that it was winter, and we were still upset about Tim Beckham's bust status. And now, 97 PA into his career, I think it's time again step back and review the most talked-about utility player on the roster. He's got 4 homers -- way more than I expected from him this early in his career -- and has acquitted himself well defensively.

His defense isn't perfect, no, but it might be good enough to wrest a starting job from a crashing but-not-yet burning Asdrubal Cabrera (whose numbers are right now buoyed and buoyed alone by some surprisingly strong defensive ratings). And if Beckham becomes the Rays starting shortstop, maybe he has a chance to be the Rays starting shortstop for many years to come. And then he's less of a bust, more of a mild disappointment, with a chance to become a valuable veteran, with a chance to become a face of the franchise, with a chance to become key piece of Rays history.

Or maybe he'll play from the bench a few years, put up a good season here and there, and then fade into obscurity. He wouldn't be the first top draft pick to do so.

Either way, it's May 19, Beckham is still on the roster, and he's been productive. In fact, he's tied Evan Longoria in homers. Keep it up, Tim, and give something for the family to cheer about.

News from Around Baseball

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  • Paul Swydan reviews a new baseball/sabermetrics book, Big Data Basebal, over at THT. Sounds like the book is primarily about how the Pirates used sabermetrics to become not as terrible.
  • In the know they enemy vein, Joe Vasile of Beyond the Box Score looks at the Yankees deadly relief duo of Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances. Wouldn't it be great to have a bad Yankees bullpen once in a half century?