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updated: 8/22/2014 5:53 AM

Sox trade Gordon Beckham to Los Angeles Angels

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  • White Sox's Gordon Beckham, who has a .221 batting average this season, has been traded to the Los Angeles Angels.

    White Sox's Gordon Beckham, who has a .221 batting average this season, has been traded to the Los Angeles Angels.
    Associated Press


Looking back, it looks like former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was right.

Guillen never questioned Gordon Beckham's baseball skills, but he was adamant about the No. 8 overall pick in the 2008 draft needing as much minor-league seasoning as possible.

Guillen's strong opinions appeared to be off base when Beckham joined the Sox in '09 after just 59 games in the minors and batted .270 with 14 home runs and 63 RBI in 103 games.

But the offensive production slipped the next year and Beckham was never able to get his swing back with the White Sox.

That's why the 27-year-old second baseman was traded to the Los Angeles Angels Thursday in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

In 101 games this season, Beckham had a .221/.263/.336 hitting line with 7 home runs and 36 RBI. In 739 career games with the Sox, Beckham batted .244 with 61 homers and 276 RBI.

"You know it's tough," general manager Rick Hahn said of Beckham's offensive spiral. "If we had an answer to that we would have been able to address it and he would have been able to fulfill that potential we saw in that first year here in Chicago. After the league did adjust to him after that excellent rookie season, his struggles for the first time in his life occurred on the major-league stage.

"Obviously, this is an extremely difficult game and a game of constant adjustments, and part of the failure that guys go through in the minor-league system is learning how to adapt and pull themselves out of that failure.

"When you have to do that on the major-league stage in a major market for the first time in your career and you have never had to fall back on those survival skills and the ability to adjust, it becomes a little more difficult."

While Beckham heads to the Angels as a utility infielder, Hahn said Carlos Sanchez will join the White Sox from Class AAA Charlotte on Friday and start at second base against the Yankees. The GM also said Marcus Semien is coming up from Charlotte in September.

Micah Johnson -- expected to be the Sox' starting second baseman in 2015 -- was recently shut down for the season at Charlotte with a strained left hamstring.

As for Beckham, the White Sox kept waiting for him to find himself at the plate, but they finally ran out of patience.

"You want to give everybody a fair opportunity, especially a guy you have drafted and developed and especially those who have had success at the big-league level," Hahn said. "With Gordon having close to 2,900 plate appearances in a White Sox uniform, I think we are all very comfortable that we did give him that chance. You take a little extra pride when it's one of your own guys succeeding, so none of us wanted to pull the plug on a guy who had the talent like Gordon prematurely. I think we did not err on that side."

As Beckham's numbers steadily slipped since his promising debut in 2009, he always seemed to be fighting himself mentally. Maybe moving to the Angels will give the former University of Georgia All-American a clear mind and fresh start.

"I don't think any of us are really in the position to explain what he was going through in his mind or what he felt," Hahn said. "We just saw the byproduct of the hard work trying to pull himself out of the struggles when they occurred. He's obviously a tremendous character, a great makeup guy. It just didn't work for him. The big part of this game as we all know is mental and that can be extremely difficult to get past."

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