I had a sophomore slump once too.
It happened in college. I had a good freshman year academically, so I decided I would take on more activities and get a job, and everything would still go as swimmingly as the year before. I was uh, incorrect. I got the crappiest of crappy registration times, wound up with a class on Greek and Latin roots in the English language that I wound up dropping and not replacing (because I was really into naps at the time), and a 2nd year Theology class where the TA and I got into a little back and forth about the morality of the U.S. Healthcare system (I'd write an essay on it, she'd give it a 5 out of 15...and repeat).
Being a shiftless layabout was kinda new to me, so I responded to it in erratic ways: showing up to comedy troupe practice drunk, curious choices in women, writing stories where people died and it was supposed to be funny, etc. The point is, young people have a tendency to take really bizarre left turns at times where it seems like it should be thriving. And while it seems so easy and so simple for them to just take the next step in the path they've been following all their life, they occasionally need to explore all the wrong steps first (in my case it involved a semester where I watched the Big Lebowski more times than I earned credit hours, in Gordon Beckham's case it meant staring blankly at 90 mph fastballs down the middle). Take heart though, because things have to get better after going so inexplicably wrong.
Stat Line: .252 BA, .317 OBP, .378 SLG, .695 OPS, 25 2B, 9 HR, 58 R, 49 RBI, 37 BB, 92 SO, 4 SB (40%), .305 wOBA, -0.8 UZR, 0.9 WAR
What did we expect?: Doesn't matter, it was too much.
Unless your expectation was for Gordon to get abducted during a winter vacation in Cancun and Reinsdorf & Williams to wait till mid-August before abandoning their attempts to lowball his kidnappers on the ransom, Beckham's super-duper slump to kick off the first half of the season probably was a disappointment.
I made an earnest attempt to not predict something crazy (an effort I did not make in predicting Carlos Quentin's year), but after the way Gordon began his season in 2009, I thought one incredibly rough transition to major league play was enough for a career.
Um...as far as the 'quoting my horrible season preview piece' gimmick, let's try to gloss over the part where I suggested that Beckham should have played at short over Ramirez. Some things it's good to own up to (I ate the leftover chicken), some things it isn't (I escaped from federal prison 8 years ago and my real name is Trent). Here are some selections in italics:
"September never happened, right buddy?" (I must have meant August, but have I mentioned that I wrote the preview while high on T3 recovering from major surgery? I've mentioned this in the past month, right? What? What do you mean 17 times?)