Who is Tim Beckham? | The Process Report

Who is Tim Beckham?

What exactly can we expect from Tim Beckham?

Beck is hitting .279/.314/.469 through 39 games, and the production that he’s showing at the plate is extremely impressive. 7 homers in 39 games is nothing to laugh about either, considering that his career high sits at 9. There really isn’t much in terms of his splits, as well. He’s put up a .335 wOBA and 115 wRC+ against RHP, along with a .240 ISO. He’s hitting the ball against RHP, and there’s no reason to believe that it can’t continue. But, is he a full time player or is this just a mirage? Beckham’s ability to contribute at the plate isn’t a question, but it’s very easy to question if he can sustain it. There are plenty of underlying numbers that make you think twice.

Season Team Pull% Cent% Oppo% Soft% Med% Hard%
2017 Rays 49% 37% 14% 17% 32% 51%

Beckham is making hard contact more than half of the time, and that’s very good and it can somewhat justify his high BABIP which sits at .360. However, Beckham is a heavy pull hitter. Being so focused on pulling the ball usually makes the outer corner kryptonite for someone with that type of approach.

Tim does most of his damage over the middle of the plate, and the middle and low inside corners. Pounding Beckham away should probably end the AB with a swing and a miss, or a groundball out to the SS.

Surprise, surprise. Beckham also absolutely murders fastballs. He’s triple slashing .370/.420/.556 against the hard stuff, however that comes with an obscene BABIP of .466. But still, you can’t sit here and linger over the fact that regression is likely. The damage Beckham is creating is quite real. However, you’d want someone who doesn’t struggle with offspeed pitches, and Beckham does just that. It’s one of his very glaring weaknesses.

Against the soft stuff, Beckham is hitting .161/.172/.371. Yikes. That’s always been an issue so far in his young career, and by now you really have to wonder if the pitch recognition will come along with the success against anything offspeed.

Just by looking at that heat map for one quick second, you can easily tell that he struggles against anything soft that isn’t hanging up in the zone. Now, it’s truly difficult to throw a guy out there everyday who is just a dead-red fastball hitter.

However, with the state of the Rays right now you have to think that Tim Beckham is the best possible fit regardless of his troubles with offspeed pitches. The Rays are literally a three true outcome team. They live off the walk, the strikeout and the long ball. Every single statistic that Beckham has falls right in line with the organizational approach that we’ve seen this season.

Now that we’re on the topic of the Rays hitting philosophy in 2017, I think it’s a good time to bring up the brewing battle between Matt Duffy and Beckham. Duffy was supposed to enter the year as the starting SS, but foot issues have lingered and he hasn’t seen the field since early September of last year. He had a setback earlier this week, so the return time is up in the air again. But who do we want on the field once he’s actually healthy?

Matt Duffy is an incredibly interesting player, and he does have better ball to bat skills that Beckham has lacked up to this point. It’s going to be interesting to see how this situation will play out should Brad Miller continue to struggle. However, foot issues are persistent, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Duffy doesn’t make it back to the Trop for a little while longer. It’s hard to ignore Beckham’s numbers, and I hope that people aren’t taken aback by the numbers that show a different side of him. Yeah, those numbers do exist and happen to paint a different picture on Tim, but it’s the jury is still out on him, as hard as that may be to believe. With the constant AB’s that Beck is getting everyday, there might still be a slight adjustment made on his part that could change his fortune with offspeed pitches, who knows?