DETROIT — Gordon Beckham likes how playing third base this season has affected him in all aspects of the game.
A day after he turned in three spectacular defensive plays, the White Sox infielder said playing third has forced him to be more assertive and it has had some carry over to the plate. Beckham’s glove at the hot corner has earned rave reviews from the staff and coaches alike.
“It allows me to be more aggressive,” Beckham said. “Obviously you have to be a little more aggressive on defense, but I think it helps my offense too. That kind of mindset, an aggressive mindset, helps on the offensive end as well.”
He only has 13 plate appearances, but Beckham is off to a solid start with a .333/.385/.583 slash line, a homer and three RBIs. But what has been even more impressive to manager Robin Ventura is Beckham’s heads-up play and how evident it is over at third.
“I get a little more of the Gordon phenomenon that was here when he first came up, hearing about him, because he’s good,” Ventura said.
“He gets off the ball well. He’s got a strong arm. He made some great plays yesterday, not only just gloving, but the decision-making and things like that. I think there’s something to playing that side of the infield, where as soon as its hit, you have to react — it’s not sit back and think about it. And I think he’s better off sometimes being that kind of player.”
Beckham likes that he has to be more alert than when he was at second base, where he has appeared in 632 of 762 career games. Playing all over the infield and returning to a White Sox clubhouse loaded with new faces has given Beckham a fresh start, he said.
“At second base, I feel like you can get a little bit lazy because you have more time,” Beckham said. “That kind of attitude is more of a passive type of attitude. Third base and shortstop, you have to really be aggressive with going to get balls.
“That’s kind of fun. If you are not in the game for that pitch, it might be hit really hard at you and you are going to miss it. You have to be locked in.”