Bouncing Back: Josh Beckett
I am a professional actor by trade. I look at baseball, dynasty leagues, trading partners and life through the prism of personality and rhythms. I was quite sure that Matt Kemp would struggle when he was dating Rhianna (late nights split focus) and equally optimistic when it came to his return post music star girlfriend. I look at numbers for sure, but what I also look for is life situations.
Josh Beckett is a born talent and a buy low. Long-time owners of Josh Beckett in dynasty leagues have to hate Beckett by now. He probably sunk quite a few dynasty seasons last year with his disastrous performance during his time in Boston. Now is perhaps a perfect time to buy.
In a small sample size of 43 innings last year in Los Angeles, he showed renewed focus and his ERA was a strong 2.93, down from an unmanageable 5.23 in Boston. Also worth mentioning that he is moving from the AL East to the NL West, and Fenway Park to Dodger Stadium. And perhaps it was no coincidence that he no longer called Bobby Valentine boss.
Josh Beckett was the #2 pick in the 1999 draft. In 2000, he was Baseball America’s 19th top prospect. 2001 he was the #3 prospect. 2002 he was the #1 prospect in Baseball. He was Dylan Bundy. He came up and dominated from a young age, because he was dripping with talent. I was at the old stadium in October 2003 with my dad and my two brothers the night Josh Beckett for the Marlins put the Yankees to bed in a historic effort. He was dominant in 2007 once he had settled himself after a challenging 2006, his first year with Boston, and NOW? Now, Beckett, this prima donna talent who had been harangued quite appropriately for his behavior/performance his last years with the Sox, is happy.
There’s a thing about talented people in many walks of life who have been wildly successful from a very young age, they tend to be spoiled somewhat by that success. There is a certain entitlement that comes with that particular cocktail of life, and when that arrogance gets challenged because the performance isn’t up to the previous dominant standard…that’s when Beer and Fried Chicken problems tend to arise.
Now Josh Beckett is out of the Boston and the AL East with its hitters parks and Designated Hitters, and is living all chill and happy in the NL West with PETCO Park and pitchers bunting. Josh Beckett actually has something to prove, and with a non-confrontational manager like Don Mattingly, we have a recipe for a strong bounce back.
If we look at Josh Beckett’s starts last year, and where he really got in trouble, problems seemed to arise when his head wasn’t in the game and he was being booed by his fan-base. In his last three starts with Boston before the trade to Los Angeles, Beckett pitched 16 1/3 innings and gave up 18 earned runs. In his 7 starts in Los Angeles he pitched 43 innings, and gave up 14 earned runs. He didn’t forget HOW to pitch, he didn’t WANT to pitch.
I am not talking a return to the 2011 numbers for Beckett, but close to it. In 2011 Beckett gave up 146 hits in 193 innings. He had an 8.2 K/9 and an ERA of 2.89. In 2013, I see Beckett carrying a 1.25 WHIP, an ERA around 3.75, an 8.0 K/9, and if he can stay healthy, 16 wins pitching in front of a much improved Dodgers squad. I’m not suggesting that Beckett will rediscover his mid 90’s heater (he won’t), but I do believe that a happier workplace and man with more perspective in life (happy marriage and a second child on the way) makes a significant difference.
I would get on the phone with the owner of Josh Beckett, and find out if he’s high on him. If that owner sounds as fed up as my mother-in-law after being kept on hold with Verizon? See if you can get him CHEAP. I got him for Cody Ross and Josh Donaldson.
Josh Beckett is Dylan Bundy at 32. He will perform in 2013. He’s a #3 Pitcher in Fantasy this year. Go buy him like a #7. Then the key? In August…try to sell him to a contender like a #2. Accrue value. And win.
“Opinion is like a pendulum and obeys the same law.” – Schopenhauer.