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Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Former No. 1 overall pick Tim Beckham suspended 80 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug

Seattle Mariners utility man Tim Beckham, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 amateur draft, has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug, Major League Baseball announced Tuesday.

...

The 80-game suspension will carry over into the 2020 season. Beckham will serve the first 48 games this year and the final 32 games next year. The Mariners signed him to a one-year, $1.75 million contract this past offseason and can retain him as an arbitration-eligible player next year.

Beckham, 29, opened the season as Seattle’s shortstop before settling into a utility role. He’s hit .237/.293/.461 with 15 home runs in 328 plate appearances while playing all four infield positions as well as left field. Beckham is a career .249/.302/.431 hitter with 63 home runs in parts of six MLB seasons.

Even before this happened, not exactly the career you’d want from a #1 draft pick, is it?

 

QLE Posted: August 07, 2019 at 03:38 AM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: peds, suspension, tim beckham

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   1. Rally Posted: August 07, 2019 at 08:49 AM (#5869021)
You definitely want more out of a #1 overall, but his career is better than some. Excluding the most recent guys since we have no idea what they'll do, Beckham looks to be about 30th percentile for such a pick. Ranking them by WAR he's right between Bill Almon and Tim Foli, which seems exactly right.

Almon and Foli were also shortstops, active in the early 80's which were my formative baseball years. When I saw them play I could not understand how in the world either one ever got to be a #1 pick. It's not like either one was a big strong 5 tool player who just couldn't make enough contact, or a flamethrowing pitcher derailed by injury or control problems. It's just that neither one seemed to have any tool that could justify dreaming on them as a #1 overall pick. They were just solid, below average filler. Almon had speed, that's about it. Foli had good contact skills and was a solid defender, but didn't do any damage with the balls he put in play. A comparable recent player might be David Fletcher, but Foli was worse. Angels took Fletcher in the 6th round.

Median outcome for a 1-1 pick is a guy like Phil Nevin or Jeff King. Solid regulars for a few years.

   2. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: August 07, 2019 at 09:27 AM (#5869027)
Might be it for him. With a 32 game suspension to start next season, he might struggle to find a team next season.

Do you still have to be on a team for your suspension to start being served? Cause that is something that really needs to get fixed.
   3. Rally Posted: August 07, 2019 at 10:05 AM (#5869033)
Totally agree. If his contract expires in the middle of his suspension, the suspension should be considered as served once his old team plays another 32 games.
   4. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 07, 2019 at 11:15 AM (#5869071)
Median outcome for a 1-1 pick is a guy like Phil Nevin or Jeff King. Solid regulars for a few years.

I looked at lifetime WAR for all #1 overall picks from 2007 and back (to eliminate those not yet in MLB and those still accumulating WAR) The best by a wide margin is ARod (117.8) followed by Chipper & Griffey, Jr. (85.2 & 83.8). The worst is Danny Goodwin (-1.7) who was the #1 overall pick TWICE

the average is 22.6 (about equal to Bob Horner), but the STDEV is so huge (25.9) that average is probably meaningless. The median is 17.3 (halfway between Jeff Burroughs and Jeff King)
   5. escabeche Posted: August 07, 2019 at 12:30 PM (#5869137)
Really puts in perspective the problem with the "lose 110 games a couple of years in a row to stockpile the #1 picks and rebuild" philosophy. Maybe you end up with a 110-loss team + Tim Beckham + Phil Nevin.
   6. bfan Posted: August 07, 2019 at 12:36 PM (#5869140)
Totally agree. If his contract expires in the middle of his suspension, the suspension should be considered as served once his old team plays another 32 games.


Because we must make sure that guys who cheat get every break they can?
   7. DanG Posted: August 07, 2019 at 01:20 PM (#5869169)
Similar corner OF to Bryce Harper at ages 23-26, past hundred years:

Player          WAROPS+   PA From   To
Leon Durham     10.5  137 1921 1981 1984
Don Baylor      10.3  126 1969 1972 1975
Ken Singleton   10.3  127 1877 1970 1973
Michael Conforto 9.7  125 1873 2016 2019
Adam Dunn        9.6  130 2504 2003 2006
Frank Howard     9.6  131 1776 1960 1963
Danny Litwhiler  9.4  122 1843 1940 1943
Austin McHenry   9.4  126 1831 1919 1922
'Bryce Harper    9.2  129 2311 2016 2019'
Willie Stargell  9.2  134 1902 1963 1966
Albert Belle     9.1  133 1865 1990 1993 
   8. Rally Posted: August 07, 2019 at 01:30 PM (#5869178)
Because we must make sure that guys who cheat get every break they can?


I don't care about giving them a break. I just want them treated the same as others.

Player A gets suspended 80 games with 50 left in the season. He's under contract for several more years. He misses the rest of the season and next April.

Player B is in the same situation but a pending free agent. In the offseason he gets "Yeah, I'd really like to sign you but I need a player who can play right now." May comes around, player A is back in the lineup but player B still on the sidelines, and still 30 games left to serve if he does get a contract.

Just have him be eligible to sign and play when the 80 games are up instead of keeping him in limbo indefinitely.
   9. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 07, 2019 at 01:49 PM (#5869188)
following up on #4--I assumed there can't be THAT much of a difference between the very, very best player in the draft and the 2nd best (or 3rd), right? Well....there is:

median WAR
#1 17.3
#2 8.4 (best--Reggie & Verlander)
#3 2.2 (best--Yount & Molitor)

never played in MLB:
#1 2
#2 4
#3 8
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: August 07, 2019 at 01:51 PM (#5869189)
Just have him be eligible to sign and play when the 80 games are up instead of keeping him in limbo indefinitely.


Exactly. Otherwise it's a potential lifetime suspension.

But I suspect too many think the way bfan does to actually get it to change.


   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 07, 2019 at 01:54 PM (#5869192)
Exactly. Otherwise it's a potential lifetime suspension.

Only for the absolutely fringiest of players. If a team isn't willing to NOT pay you for 30 days, you have to be effectively replacement level.
   12. SoSH U at work Posted: August 07, 2019 at 01:59 PM (#5869194)
Only for the absolutely fringiest of players. If a team isn't willing to NOT pay you for 30 days, you have to be effectively replacement level.


Even if you're right, that's still wrong.

   13. . Posted: August 07, 2019 at 02:49 PM (#5869230)
Exactly. Otherwise it's a potential lifetime suspension.


Getting all boo-hoo about caught 'roiders is entirely incongruous with the relentlessly merciless perspective on a whole lot of things that define our age -- some far more innocuous than 'roid cheating. (*)

Social media and round-the-clock opinionating has made our society extremely odd.

(*) I mean, sure -- in a vacuum, no real reason Beckham should go into limbo because of that ambiguity ... but given the general cultural context, to actually care about such a pittance so much so that you go out of your way to demand mercy for him and protest the injustice if he doesn't get it? A bit off kilter.
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: August 07, 2019 at 02:56 PM (#5869236)
(*) I mean, sure -- in a vacuum, no real reason Beckham should go into limbo because of that ambiguity ... but given the general cultural context, to actually care about such a pittance so much so that you go out of your way to demand mercy for him and protest the injustice if he doesn't get it? A bit off kilter.


So, we're right. We just shouldn't say it out loud.

   15. . Posted: August 07, 2019 at 03:06 PM (#5869246)
So, we're right. We just shouldn't say it out loud.


You're "right" in the sense that it technically isn't "wrong" to speak English and obsessively study English 24 hours a day in a society where everyone else is speaking French.
   16. SoSH U at work Posted: August 07, 2019 at 03:11 PM (#5869248)
You're "right" in the sense that it technically isn't "wrong" to speak English and obsessively study English 24 hours a day in a society where everyone else is speaking French.


Tell it to the guy who wrote this: in a vacuum, no real reason Beckham should go into limbo because of that ambiguity


   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 07, 2019 at 03:15 PM (#5869250)
Even if you're right, that's still wrong.

Not to my mind. He knew the rule, he knew the penalty. If his penalty ends his MLB career, it just opens a spot for somebody else.

"Wrong" implies he's being unfairly singled out, or being deprived of some right.
   18. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 07, 2019 at 03:16 PM (#5869251)

SBB is just doing his usual contrarian shtick. To do so, he has to pretend that a couple of posts on a 12-post thread amounts to a "protest", "demanding mercy", "obsessive", etc.

If commenting on Beckham's fate is "a bit off kilter" then what is commenting about people who comment about Beckham's fate?
   19. manchestermets Posted: August 07, 2019 at 03:23 PM (#5869253)
SBB is just doing his usual contrarian shtick.


Which he will, while people keep indulging him in it.
   20. . Posted: August 07, 2019 at 03:24 PM (#5869255)
Tell it to the guy who wrote this: in a vacuum, no real reason Beckham should go into limbo because of that ambiguity


We don't exist, and aren't caring and commenting, in a vacuum.

   21. . Posted: August 07, 2019 at 03:27 PM (#5869258)
If commenting on Beckham's fate is "a bit off kilter" then what is commenting about people who comment about Beckham's fate?


Of all the causes to care about the extension of mercy to in this merciless, pitiless environment in which we live and comment, picking Beckham is indeed off-kilter.

Since it's impossible to care about everything, the things we pick to care about say something about us.

It's pretty much the same theme I mentioned when everyone was getting all bent out of shape about the lack of offers to MLB free agents like Craig Kimbrel, an utterly bizarre thing to spend brain cells and typing fingers over.
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: August 07, 2019 at 03:27 PM (#5869259)
We don't exist, and aren't caring and commenting, in a vacuum.


This pretty much does. There's no reason for this particular hitch to exist. It could be done with in no time, at no expense. You agree with that, but simply agreeing with stuff isn't your brand, so you've got to break out the hysterics about how others are hysterical.
   23. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 07, 2019 at 04:19 PM (#5869282)
Which he will, while people keep indulging him in it.


The ignore function exists for a reason.
   24. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 07, 2019 at 05:26 PM (#5869300)
It's the union's job to foresee issues like this and smooth them out. It seems like the people they hire have been derelict for several years.
   25. Sunday silence Posted: August 07, 2019 at 06:09 PM (#5869315)
Of all the causes to care about the extension of mercy to in this merciless, pitiless environment in which we live and comment, picking Beckham is indeed off-kilte


He's not picking Beckham you blithering idiot. He's pointing out the unfairness of the penalty regardless of whether it was Beckham or someone else on a one year contract. Its an approach that requires thinking about what he said instead of spouting off Major Pronouncements of Opinion as They Are Facts...
   26. . Posted: August 07, 2019 at 07:22 PM (#5869337)
He's pointing out the unfairness of the penalty regardless of whether it was Beckham or someone else on a one year contract.


There's no "penalty" whatever involved here.

As to the "pointing out," this is the type of "issue" that no one who opinionates on it would have even cared about prior to the internet giving people a friction-free and immediate mechanism by which to opinionate. The opinion exists in the first instance only because we have communications mechanisms by which it can be easily expressed. It's therefore an inorganic "caring," and a natural synonym for inorganic is "inauthentic," or "fake." Many things people "care" about fall into this category.

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