Jun 25th, 2009
Into the Vault: Gordon Beckham
How would you describe your defensive abilities (any comparisons)?
My defensive abilities are pretty good across the board. I think I have decent range and enough arm to make the deep throw from shortstop. I’m going to make the routine plays and make a great play every once in awhile. I think every player is inherently different so I don’t think there is a need to compare myself to anyone. I play the game my way, that’s all I know.
Your draft stock went through the roof after a strong performance at the prestigious Cape Cod league. In fact, it was reported that your power performance was the best in the Cape Cod since Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay). Tell us a bit about your experience in the league and how you believe it helped you better prepare for your junior season as well as life in professional baseball (ie, getting to adjust to wood bats, etc).
The cape really helped me understand what I needed to do to be successful. I did not try to do too much up there and by taking the pressure off, I actually did more than I thought I would. Wood bats magnify every mistake you make with your swing, so it is important to do less with your body.
Who was your favorite team growing up. And how much do you know about the White Sox organization?
The funny thing about this question is I never had a favorite team. People have asked me all my life who I liked and I never had a good answer. I guess I was a Braves fan, but only because they were the team in the city I lived in. I don’t know a ton about the White Sox yet. I do know that I want to be a white sox player from the moment I make the big leagues to the moment I finish my career. The white sox have placed a lot of stock in me and I want to return that commitment to them.
Your swing compares, especially with the kick, to that of Alex Rodriguez. Did you intentionally try to model your swing after his, or has it been the same all your life?
When I was little I would go into my backyard and try to hit tennis balls over my house. So what you see in my swing is what I’ve been doing my whole life. The leg kick just comes naturally. If I’m half the player A-Rod is then I would say I’ve had a good career ha ha. I just hope I don’t get booed when I make an out. I feel awful for that guy because he is so good and he gets booed when he doesn’t deliver. Baseball is a cruel game, once you think you have it figured out, it will humble you quickly.
Many guys struggle to hit in the cold, which is a big part of Chicago baseball, including April, May, some of September, and then October. Do you think it’ll be an issue, especially with wood?
Obviously I would rather not hit in the cold. But everybody has to deal with the conditions. I try to control the controllables. If you worry about anything else, you’re destined to fail. So I will cross that bridge when I get to it.
In the minors, a lot of times the game is more about individual numbers than playing for “the team”. Is that style of play going to change anything for you?
This is something that I have struggled with lately. I’m used to playing for my team, fighting for the guys around me as much as myself. But Minor league ball is different because it is highly individualized. I’m trying to get used to it. But until I’m up in Chicago playing for a pennant, its going to be tough to get into that mindset.
Why do you have Your Love by The Outfield play when you come to bat?
Great question. Your love by the Outfield is my favorite song. I like to have a song that lights me up inside. I like a song that gets me excited and ready, but keeps me relaxed at the same time. I chose that song when I was a freshman in college and used it for three years. That song has kind of attached itself to me and the University of Georgia. I get messages late at night from friends who hear it in the bar and call me just to tell me it’s on. I’ve walked into places in Athens where they would see me and then play the song. And the girls enjoyed it too. They would actually finish the verse when it would cut off when I stepped into the box. Best of both worlds I guess.
With you about to be a very rich man, what is the big thing you want to buy?
Being rich should not make you stupid. I am planning on putting all the money in the bank. I don’t have anything I really want to buy so I’ll put it in the bank and buy something big down the road. Maybe I could get some suggestions from people.
How has the adjustment been from playing in the College World Series on ESPN to Single A Ball? Any culture shock?
Serious culture shock. One day I’m in the White Sox clubhouse and the next day I show up to a low A clubhouse. Its very different from what I’m used to but that’s all part of what I’m doing now. I’m just getting my feet wet. I’m just trying to experience a little bit of pro ball now before I head to the fall league.
How closely have you followed the big club in recent weeks?
Well I have Oney Guillen on the team so I get updates everyday. I have been following them basically through Oney and Sportscenter. They are going to make the playoffs. I know that because they are such a great group of guys from what I know. They were just joking around the day I met them. Good guys that have fun don’t get denied.
Are you a stat nut?
I try not to be. But who are we kidding; this is baseball, its all about the stats.
How do you compare the SEC to the minor leagues? You have only seen A ball, but is SEC Ball better than Single A? Maybe High A?
The SEC is tough. So far I have not felt over-matched by anyone I’ve faced. I am going through a stretch right now where I’m getting myself out. I would say depending on who your playing, the SEC is in the middle of High A and Low A.
How stressful were negotiations.
I hated negotiations. That’s why I did not wait till 11:59 on the 15th. I could have done that and made everyone sweat a little and probably got more money, but it’s just not my personality. I’m big on relationships, and I wanted the relationship between the White Sox and me to get off to a good start.
Favorite Food: Dads steak and baked potatoes.
Hobby outside baseball: Hunting. My dad and I own 900 acres in Middle Georgia. Its honestly my favorite place in the world, especially in the fall.
Last thing you listened to on your Ipod: The Lost Trailers. They are a southern rock band that I really enjoy. They are not too well known but I would do anything the watch those guys in concert.