The Birmingham Barons and Chicago White Sox have announced that INF Gordon Beckham will join the Barons on a rehab assignment beginning Thursday, April 3rd for the team's opening series against the Montgomery Biscuits at Riverwalk Stadium. Beckham is recovering from a strained right oblique suffered during spring training on March 21st.
Beckham was drafted by the White Sox out of the University of Georgia in the first round (eighth overall) of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. He was named SEC Player of the Year and a First-Team All-American after hitting .411 with 28 home runs and 77 RBI as a Junior and led the Bulldogs to a second-place finish in the 2008 College World Series.
He started the 2009 season in Birmingham, hitting .299 (44-for-147) with four home runs 23 runs scored and 22 RBI in 38 games. He was elected to the Southern League midseason All-Star game but was unable to participate after earning a promotion to Class AAA Charlotte on May 27th. His final game with the Barons came during the Rickwood Classic.
After joining the White Sox in late June, Beckham would hit .270 (102-for-378) with 14 home runs, 58 runs scored and 63 RBI in 103 games. He earned Sporting News Rookie of the Year and the Players Choice American League Outstanding Rookie award following the season and finished fifth in AL Rookie of the Year voting. He also became the third White Sox player to earn Player of the Month honors after hitting .330 (32-for-97) with 10 doubles, three home runs and 18 RBI in July.
Beckham has proved to be one of the best fielding second baseman in the game since making it to the major leagues after submitting the second and third-highest fielding percentage seasons by a second baseman in White Sox history in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
Over five major league seasons with the White Sox, Beckham has hit .249 (551-for-638) with 54 home runs, 291 runs scored and 240 RBI in 638 games. In 2012, he established career highs with 151 games played, 123 hits, 16 home runs and 62 runs scored.