Gleeman: No. 1 pick Tim Beckham and the first 162 games

From SABR member Aaron Gleeman at Baseball Prospectus on April 17, 2017:

Tim Beckham played his 162nd major-league game Sunday, going 2-for-4 with a home run as the Rays’ starting shortstop.

That’s just how Tampa Bay envisioned things unfolding when they made Beckham the no. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft … except that game raised his career line to .234/.283/.421 and he’s logged fewer than 500 innings at shortstop through age 27. Beckham seems destined to rank as one of the least successful no. 1 picks in baseball history and his lack of success is magnified even further by the fact that the Rays famously passed on a well-known local prospect, Florida State University star and Golden Spikes Award winner Buster Posey, to select him.

I’m not here to relitigate that decision. Clearly it was the wrong move and plenty of people questioned it at the time. In a mock draft 24 hours before the pick was made, BP’s own Kevin Goldstein called Posey “the safer pick” and projected him as a future All-Star with a quick path to the majors. He also guessed that the Rays would take Posey. They didn’t, although in fairness neither did the Pirates, Royals, or Orioles. While not quite “21 teams passed on Mike Trout” territory, Posey going fifth to the Giants will forever haunt those other four teams. But probably not Posey. He’s done pretty well for himself on the other coast.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: April 17, 2017. Last Updated: April 17, 2017.