Trade Deadline acquisition exceeding expectations with new squad
By William Kosileski
CLEVELAND -- Before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Orioles were in pursuit of a reliable option at shortstop for the stretch run of the regular season. When the O's acquired Tim Beckham from the Rays, they weren't sure what to expect from the 27-year-old former No. 1 Draft pick. Just over a month later, Beckham has exceeded the club's expectations.
Despite Saturday's 4-2 loss to the Indians at Progressive Field, Beckham continued his torrid stretch since joining the Orioles. Beckham went 1-for-4 on the day, but his lone hit was a solo homer to left off Indians starter Josh Tomlin to lead off the sixth inning.
"Tim has played well ever since he came over here," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
Beckham's homer on Saturday was his 20th home run of the season, and his eighth since his first game with Baltimore on Aug. 1. The shortstop waited on a hanging, 85-mph changeup from Tomlin and drove it 410 feet into the bleachers in left to give the Orioles their second run of the ballgame. Their first run came on an infield RBI single by Trey Mancini in the top of the first inning.
Per Statcast™, Beckham's homer had an exit velocity of 107 mph and had a launch angle of 32 degrees.
Beckham jumped on a 1-0, 85-mph changeup from Tomlin, and hit it 410 feet to left. Eight of his 20 homers have come with the Orioles. pic.twitter.com/sjZkvU2RwO
"[Coming here] was a fresh start for Tim," Showalter said. "He was an attractive player for us. We gave up a good young pitcher, [Tobias Myers], for him, and I can't tell you that we knew exactly that he was going to perform this well. We didn't know."
In addition to his eight homers, Beckham has hit .350 (56-for-160) with 10 doubles, two triples, seven walks, 21 RBIs and 30 runs scored in 37 games with the O's. This comes after he posted a slash line of .259/.314/.407 with 12 homers, five doubles, three triples, 36 RBIs and 31 runs scored in 87 games with Tampa Bay earlier this season.
"I've stuck with the same approach since coming here," Beckham said. "I wasn't swinging bad in Tampa. Just kept the same approach, trusting routines and want to compete every day."
Beckham's play with the O's has earned him the starting shortstop role, even with veteran J.J. Hardy back with the team after missing close to three months with a right wrist fracture. Hardy -- who was activated on Friday -- gave Beckham credit for earning the starting gig.
"[He's been] amazing. Absolutely amazing," Hardy said of Beckham on Friday. "We've played against him for the last few years, and I've seen a lot of improvements just playing against him. For him to get the opportunity to play every day over here at shortstop -- what he's done has been pretty impressive."
Beckham admitted to being frustrated with the loss to the Indians.
"You don't want to be on the bench and feel like you're not going to win," Beckham said. "Even when the team is down, 4-2, we still feel like we can win the ballgame. We've got a heck of a lineup ourselves and we know what we can do when we get the lineup rolling. Just a tough loss today."
William Kosileski is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.