Gordon Beckham has all the tools: speed on the bases, home-run power, and defense at a key position. So it’s no wonder he is universally considered one of the top college players in this year's draft class. He has his Georgia team in the NCAA tournament right (Super Regionals), but he was able to chat for a few minutes and talk about the draft and how he’s performed this year.
Pat Andriola: Many college shortstops switch positions in pro ball. Some people think you may be best suited to play second base professionally. What's your response to that and how comfortable are you at second base?
Gordon Beckham: I feel that I have proven this year that I am a very capable shortstop. That being said, my goal is to make the big leagues and it doesn't matter what position I'm playing when I get there. I played a couple games at second this summer and it was not difficult. Once you play short you can play any position.
PA: You've decreased your strikeouts each season. Have you changed your plate approach or made any substantial adjustments to increase your contact rates?
GB: All I have done this year is make a two strike adjustment. Once I get to two strikes I am all about contact and helping the team and putting pressure on the defense.
PA: What do you think your transition to a wood bat will be like?
GB: I am not worried about the wood bat. Honestly, I think I like swinging a wood bat more than I like to swing metal. You have to have a quicker and more compact swing to hit with wood.
PA: You've swiped 17 bases this year and have only been caught once. Is there anything in particular that you'd attribute to your success swiping bases?
GB: Not really. This season I have been just trusting my eyes and by doing that I'm getting good jumps.
PA: Your father played competitive college football. Did you ever have any interest in playing collegiate football?
GB: I did. I had a lot of small schools that wanted me to play. Places like Air Force, Ohio, and Wake Forest wanted me to play there. But I always knew I was going to play baseball so it was not a tough decision.
PA: What was it like winning the SEC championship this year?
GB: It was an incredible feeling. That was our goal when we started the SEC season and we were all really excited to win it.
PA: We're getting pretty close to draft day. While we're sure the NCAA Tournament will keep you plenty busy, your mind has to be pondering where you'll be for the next leg of your career. What's it like knowing your entire amateur resume is being meticulously evaluated by professional organizations this very second?
GB: I'm not worried about it, that’s for sure. I have done a pretty good job of not thinking about the draft. The hay is in the barn so to speak and there is nothing I can do about it wither way now.
PA: What will you be doing on draft day yourself? GB: Not sure, if we are still in the NCAA then I'll probably be practicing. If we are not then I will be either in Atlanta or at my farm.
Pat Andriola can be reached at Patrick.Andriola@tufts.edu.