The three big albatross contracts on the Chicago White Sox are those belonging to Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Jake Peavy. They are the three most overpaid underachievers on the Sox; at least in 2011 anyway. They are three players most Sox fans point the finger at for what went wrong last year. I agree on the first two, but think the third biggest problem is Gordon Beckham.
Peavy however, does actually have a winning record during his stay on the south side, believe it or not. And he’s 1-0 with a 3.55 ERA this young season; making a very positive statement with his strong showing versus the Detroit Tigers on opening day.
Dunn is hitting just .206 on the young season. Which is a very rough start, but hey it’s still better than last year’s .159! When he recorded a club record 177 strikeouts. He also has three doubles at U.S. Cellular Field already. Doesn’t sound like much, but it matches his entire total at home (in 202 at bats) from all of last year. Simply put the Big Donkey cannot have more strike outs than batting average points again this year. Or come anywhere close
Rios is hitting just .200 and he’s only driven in one run, so he’s starting 2012 right where he left off 2011. Last year he hit only .227 with 44 RBI.
But Beckham is the real problem, as he’s hitting just .115. (Morel, inexplicably in the #2 hole is even worse batting .103, but that’s another story for another time) Beckham is a major red flag, because unlike Dunn and Rios, he hasn’t “done it yet.” As bad as the other two have been, and as bad as they struggle now, at least you know they have some history of producing in the majors. Dunn has over 350 career HRs, Rios has hit north of .290 in multiple seasons, Beckham has accomplished…..uhm, help me out here?
When Beckham was coming up, there was a lot of hype as he was a very high draft pick. He struggled very very badly at first, much like his new manager Robin Ventura did when his playing career began. And statistical analysts and sabermetric geeks believed Beckham would go on to have a major league career statistically similar to Ventura, or perhaps Todd Zeile.
Not so. Beckham rebounded from that very poor start his freshman campaign to have a very nice rookie season in ’09. But his power numbers declined steadily with more plate appearances since then. And his batting average dropped in 2010, and dropped even further to .230 last year. In other words, you can’t honestly believe in some regular statistical regression to the mean like you can with Dunn and Rios. Of the three, the one who will likely run out of chances first is Gordy Becks.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, MSN and Fox Sports
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