Sep 23, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Tim Beckham (29) hits a sacrifice RBI during the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Rays infielder Tim Beckham tears ACL; may miss most of 2014

Heading into MLB’s Winter Meetings, there was a real buzz that former elite prospect Tim Beckham could be the opening day second baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays. However, those plans hit a significant snag this week, as Beckham went down with what is considered to be a very serious knee injury.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Beckham has torn his right ACL, and with a normal recovery time, he would miss most, if not all, of the 2014 season. Beckham was once the #1 overall pick in the draft back in 2008, but many people were already dreading the thought of seeing him as an “everyday” player with Tampa Bay, much less whoever the Rays are forced to use in his absence.

Beckham’s bat has been the disappointment throughout his minor league career, posting just a .332 career OBP over nearly 3,000 plate appearances, but the 23-year-old could still be developing (as most 23-year-olds do). In addition, Beckham has MLB-ready athleticism and if he can translate his raw tools into production, it certainly isn’t “too late” for him to make a real impact.

It’ll be very interesting to see which direction Tampa Bay moves toward in order to replace Beckham, but it seems to be a virtual certainty that he’ll be out for quite some time.

Tags: Tampa Bay Rays Tim Beckham