At this year’s MLB trade deadline, the Orioles acquired shortstop Tim Beckham from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for minor league right-hander Tobias Myers. Beckham was the first pick in the 2008 MLB Draft and is now 27 years old and in his third Major League season.
With J.J. Hardy’s injury, the Orioles needed a more permanent solution at shortstop. Beckham has shown his franchise-player potential in his first three games in a Baltimore uniform, hitting .583 with three doubles, one triple, and one home run in only 12 at-bats.
Of course, this is a very small sample size, but Beckham clearly has the potential to be something special since he was selected with the first overall pick in 2008.
The Orioles have control of Beckham through 2020 via arbitration, which made his acquisition even more favorable. Hardy’s contract expires at the end of the season, and the Orioles may choose not to re-sign him to a new contract.
While Beckham is not a household name, the Rays had a crowded infield, and he may not have ever had an opportunity to prove himself as an everyday starter in Tampa Bay. Now, Beckham is on an Orioles team that had a clear need for him. He can immediately contribute to Baltimore’s push, as they are only 3.5 games behind in the Wild Card and 6.5 games in the AL East.
If Baltimore’s pitching staff can pitch well consistently for the rest of the year, the Orioles have the offense and defense to make the push into the playoffs. More starts like Chris Tillman’s 7-run, 2-inning performance last night against the Detroit Tigers cannot happen if the Orioles want to make a playoff run.
Beckham has the speed, hitting, and defensive potential to be an All-Star someday. He may have let a ball go right between his legs last night, but he has played multiple positions throughout his short Major League career and has played fine defensively. With more experience and coaching, his defense will improve as he continues to be an everyday player in Baltimore. His overall game could improve enough that he could be an All-Star and franchise cornerstone within five years.
If you would like to receive an email each time a new Baltimore Orioles article is published, fill out our email notification form.