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67 Reasons Tim Beckham is the Best Player in Baseball

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Numbers 14, 37, and 62 will shock you!

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MLB: Seattle Mariners-Media Day
Best
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

1. Tim Beckham is literally the most valuable player in baseball.

Tim Beckham: Valued Person
Fangraphs

2. Tim Beckham hit two home runs off of Cy Young and Pasta Look-Alike Contest Winner Chris Sale.

This list is Ryan Rayburn and future Hall of Famers (glances nervously at Hosmer’s career WAR while Dave Cameron holds a machete to my neck).

3. Tim Beckham Did Some Defense.

Tim Beckham: Proves Superior

4. Tim Beckham says so: “I think I’m the best shortstop in baseball.”

5. Tim Beckham was considered to have the Best tools and be “as safe as it gets” in the 2008 draft.

6. Tim Beckham devours pitches up in the zone.

Tim Beckham: Best at Ignoring the Blue Square
Baseball Savant

7. Tim Beckham is playing in an era that throws more pitches up in the zone than any in history.

8. Tim Beckham feasted on the league for a week.

9. Tim Beckham flips bats.

10. Tim Beckham turns heads.

Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics
Tim Beckham: Head Turner
Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images

11. Tim Beckham run fast.

MLB: Spring Training-Seattle Mariners at San Diego Padres
Tim Beckham: Will Get You
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

12. Tim Beckham laugh smile.

Tim Beckham: Has Done it Once Again

13. Tim Beckham eat breathe.

MLB: Seattle Mariners-Media Day
Tim Beckham: Best Breather
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

14. Exposed Electrical Wiring.

15. Tim Beckham is projected to be worth 1.2 fWAR. Tim Beckham is already worth 23 of an expected Tim Beckham (xTB).

16. The phases of the Moon are: New Moon, Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Last Quarter, and Crescent.

17.

18.

19. (i’ll come back to these)

20. Tim Beckham’s defense was once praised as “passable.”

21. “Best” is a word without a clear definition. “Best” could mean many things; there are many ways to be “best.”

22. More? Tim Beckham’s 2019 average exit velocity is 93.9, which is in the top 1% of the league!

Tim Beckham: Best Numbers
Baseball Savant

23. Did I mention that Tim Beckham is the most valuable player in ba—.

24. Listicles are hard.

25. You have to come up with a lot of content.

26. But we must soldier on. We are competing against Club Penguin and Marbles, after all.

Club Penguin: LL Competitor
Disney

27. Most kids, nowadays, are addicted to some game called Backgammon.

28. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a listicle. To compete with that.

29. Here’s one: Tim Beckham’s O-Swing% (22.9) and SwStrike% (10.1) are the lowest of his career.

Tim Beckham: Swing Smart
Fangraphs.com

30. Tim Beckham is healthy! He was not always healthy.

Tim Beckham: Best at Injury

31. Tim Beckham was named Most Likely to Be a Good Seattle Mariner in high school.

Tim Beckham: Good Mariner, Most Likely
PerfectGame

32. What does it mean to be the “best player?” Best at doing what? Best how?

33. The bust rate of first round high school draftees is ~64%; the bust rate for a Top 30 prospect is ~70%. No one tells prospects this.

34. At night, Tim Beckham can be found hobnobbing with celebrities.

35. Later at night he can be found at his window, staring at the inky black of the sky.

36. The moon wanes when it should wax. He frowns. He checks his lunar chart. He drops it to the floor.

37. Electric Eels.

Electric Eel, Electrophorus electricus, Venezuela
Watch Out, Tim Beckham!
Photo by Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty Images

38. No. How did he lose track of the cycle?

39. The average wolf can sprint 38 mph and can eat 20 pounds of meat in a single sitting! Wow!

40. His wife is beside him, awake now. She squeezes his shoulder before packing him a bag. They had been so careful since the attack. But the trip overseas, she realizes. They must have lost track of the day.

41. Tim Beckham is scared. Even beneath the intrusive thoughts, the ripples of fresh skin, he feels a human fear beating in his chest.

42. His wife leads him into the forest. Deep as she can.

43. Tim Beckham’s 15.1 degree launch angle and 93 EV put him in the sweet spot for positive batted ball outcomes. Both are the highest of his career.

Tim Beckham: Sweet Swing
FiveThirtyEight

44. Beneath a dark canopy of elm leaves, Tim Beckham removes his clothes. His wife folds them. She places them in a duffel bag and sets it beside the tree where she will leave him. She cannot stay.

45. It is cold in the Northwest. The predawn air is heavy and wet. Wind moistens the trees as it rocks them. Tim Beckham does not feel the cold. His body is boiling with hunger.

46. His wife stands in the moonlight now filtering brightly through the trees. She shakes her head. Those that knew, specialists, said he should retire. The stress of it, the danger. She had begged him.

47. Tim Beckham howls. The sound comes from somewhere deep in his chest, someplace only unlocked during these nights. The real Tim Beckham is trapped, latched into a small part of himself, watching the world through unfamiliar eyes.

48. Tim Beckham was the 22nd ranked prospect in baseball in 2009. In 2011 he was not ranked at all.

49. He witnesses his skin tearing, his bones breaking and rebuilding. The pain is unbearable. They never told him about the pain. No one ever describes pain with enough detail to match the experience.

50. Tim Beckham’s wife backs away. Tears slip down her cheeks. She knows why he continues to play. No one has even been able to tell him no, not since he was a boy in Georgia. But this? This was different, he had to see.

51. Tim Beckham smells the salt of blood pounding between his wife’s temples. He hears the small talons of an owl shifting on a branch. The wind carries the sweet stink of deer musk. His vision sharpens. The clouds part. He runs.

52. Tim Beckham gave away his game bat to a fan! What a guy!

53. In 2013, at 22, Tim Beckham was considered a “forgotten man.”

54. It is not the nights, but the days after that trouble him. The memory of hunger. The smell of raw meat on his breath. The unusual glint in his eyes when he passes the mirror. It almost looks like defeat.

55. His family watches him nervously over dinner. He sees flashes of fear cross their faces. He looks down at the small puddle of blood on the tablecloth. He has forgotten to cook his steak.

56. “You have to quit,” his wife says, pressing a cold towel to his forehead. “You can’t keep playing. It’s too much. It’s too hard.”

57. Feverish and ill, Tim Beckham finds himself thinking about Luke Hochevar. Other names come to mind: Matt Bush, Delmon Young, Brian Bullington. There is a comfort in knowing you are not alone. But it is a comfort without peace.

58. Tim Beckham made it out of Griffin. Many of his friends did not. He is lucky, he knows, to be alive at all.

59. Reporters have asked Beckham the same question for years. They ask about the day he was drafted. About Buster Posey, about Eric “Goddamn” Hosmer. He nods. What he hears is: Why aren’t you better? You should have been the Best. What happened to you?

60. Tim Beckham was found naked, barely conscious, curled in the bed of a pickup outside the Johnson’s summer cabin. Fur clung to his chin, pasted by scabs of dried blood. He was gone before the police arrived.

61. There are many ways to be “best.” To some it means raw value. To others consistency, clutch, charity. Some define it as the ability to continue to try even when giving up would be easier. Even when you are the only one who believes.

62. The price of organic milk.

63. Tim Beckham traces the scars on his chest before buttoning his uniform. His stomach turns, sour with undigested meat. He sits in the clubhouse, head over his knees. He thinks of all the chances he has had to quit. He thinks of the thousands more he will have. The moon weighs heavy on his mind as he exits the dark of the tunnel.

64. In Baltimore, as before, when his body was ragged from the changes, his muscles sore and limp and his performance fell, they doubted him. As they did in Tampa, as they did in Griffin.

65. He flexes his back, curls his neck, feels the fresh landscape of his changed body. Sore and powerful from muscles tearing and rebuilding. He lifts his bat, steps into the on-deck circle. He, too, thought he was finished after the attack. But now he sees.

66. The bat flips from his hand. Shutters click, fans gasp.

67. Tim Beckham wonders who else has been turned. He searches for the familiar glint of hunger, pain, and dormant strength in the eyes of his teammates. He knows there are more like him. He hears them, the others, howling with him under the moon. Bitten and broken and stronger than ever.

Ed. Note: It is highly likely that, and I cannot stress this enough, Tim Beckham is not a werewolf.

Ed. Note #2: Hello, I’m Nick. Once upon a time I wrote this Fanpost. Now, I will be helping cover the minor league system for LL this season. I have been here lurking, waiting, biding my time, for over a decade and I am beyond excited to contribute. Whatever lies beyond excited, that’s where I am.

I have been a Mariners fan since my parents rearranged the living room furniture in 1995 so we could watch the playoffs closer to the television. I have been a fan since, in 2001, my third grade teacher cancelled math and history so we could listen to day games on the radio. I have been a fan since my dad put Niehaus on the stereo and taught me to not fear the ball, to keep my eyes open. I have been a fan since as long as I can remember.

After a chronic illness derailed my baseball playing career, I took up writing as a way to cope. That has led me to the life I live now (poverty and adjuncting), and to writing this sentence. Currently, I am trapped in Walnut Creek, CA and soon I will be moving further south. To Angel Country. I fear this more than I fear my inevitable death.

I can’t wait to get to know all of you better while we watch the farm system become Best!

Celebrate Tim Beckham, batflipper extraordinaire and definitely not a werewolf, and help out the site in the process, with this special Tim Beckham shirt from Breaking T (also available as a hoodie!). Click here to order!