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Minor League Ball Gameday, September 10

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International League and Pacific Coast League championships begin; how much progress has Tampa Bay Rays prospect Tim Beckham made this year?

Tim Beckham
Tim Beckham

Good afternoon prospect watchers. Down to business on this beautiful, but WAY TOO HOT Tuesday afternoon.

***Yesterday's Minor League Ball Gameday thread.

***Lee Warren previewed the Pacific Coast League championship between the Omaha Stormchasers and the Salt Lake Bees for us earlier today. has a similar piece about the International League series between the Durham Bulls and Pawtucket Red Sox. This includes a note about Rays prospect Tim Beckham, with a quote from Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo.

"He's looking more and more like a big leaguer. He has progressed so much. He's becoming a complete player. He's just taking a little bit longer than other guys, but that's OK. Even the ball sounds different off his bat."

That's a nice quote, but statistically speaking Beckham only improved slightly this year, hitting .276/.342/.387 in the regular season, compared to .256/.325/.361 at the same level last year. He added 40 OPS points, but his isolated power was virtually the same.

On the other hand, his relative rate of production did improve, going from 91 wRC+ last season to 106 this year.
He did show a pretty sharp split between early in the year and late, posting a .704 OPS in the first half of the year and .785 in the second. That's better, though not dominant. Sabermetrically, these look like plausibly genuine but still incremental improvements to me. He turns 24 in January and I still see him as more bench player than regular.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if you put Beckham in the Pacific Coast League.

***Today's schedule of post-season minor league games.

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