That was tough for Gordon Beckham to swallow.
While the White Sox third baseman wasn’t expecting to be holding up the American League Rookie of the Year trophy on Monday, he admittedly was surprised that he finished fifth in the voting by the baseball writers.
Especially since the 23-year-old’s mantle already had AL Rookie of the Year honors by both The Sporting News and the Major League Baseball Players Association sitting on it. He received each last month – as voted on by the players.
But there it was in black and white – fifth.
Oakland reliever Andrew Bailey won the award with 13 first-place votes with Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus second with eight first-place votes. Ahead of Beckham were Rick Porcello (seven votes) and then Jeff Niemann.
“I’m feeling a little bit of everything,” Beckham said in a phone interview. “I thought I might be a little higher than fifth, but I knew it was an uphill battle for me, getting up [to the major leagues] a little later. I thought I had a great season, but so did those other guys.”
Beckham was the first selection [eighth overall] of the Sox in the 2008 draft after putting on a show at the University of Georgia.
He wasted little time making an impact in his first spring training, and by June 4 was on the big-league roster.
Playing third base on a regular basis for the first time in his life, the former shortstop ended up hitting .270 with 14 home runs and 63 RBI, as well as recording 28 doubles.
He was first amongst rookie with those 28 doubles, as well as 43 extra-base hits, and 63 RBI, while he was second with a .347 on-base percentage, .460 slugging percentage, homers, as well as 58 runs scored and 102 hits.
What might have hurt him, however, was an inconsistent August in which he hit just .223, followed by a .266 last month of the season.
“It was the first full season for me, not even in the big leagues, but ever, and it probably didn’t help I struggled the last month,” Beckham said. “I won two awards that were voted on by the players. At the end of the day I would want the players to respect me more than the writers.”
Bailey, 25, led all AL rookie relievers with 26 saves and a 1.84 ERA, as well as limiting opponents to a .167 batting average.
So what’s next up for Beckham? Well, he was already informed that he will now be the starting second baseman with the acquisition of Mark Teahen and the departure of Chris Getz, and plans to enroll in “Camp Cora” come January, joining shortstop Alexei Ramirez and third base prospect Dayan Viciedo in an offseason defensive workout session down in Miami with bench coach Joey Cora.
“I don’t think the writers disrespected me, but they had their opinion,” Beckham added. “It’s a little upsetting for me, but that’s not my place. Other guys had great seasons.”