Josh Beckett

Josh Beckett

Keith Allison - Flickr

Josh Beckett Player Bio

May 15, 1980
6' 5"
225 lbs
Major League Debut:
9-04-2001 with FLO
Allstar Selections:
2003 BR, 2003 WsMVP, 2007 ALCS

Josh Beckett is a right-handed starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. He was selected by the Florida Marlins with the second overall pick in the 1999 amateur draft. With the nickname "Kid Heat", Beckett continued a long line of power pitchers to come out of the state of Texas. In just his second season of professional baseball, Baseball America named Beckett the 2001 Minor League Player of the Year, USA Today also named him as their POY, and he debuted with the Marlins. The young Texan reached national fame in 2003, after an outstanding postseason in which he won the World Series MVP. Injuries hampered his career in Florida, and the Marlins traded Beckett to the Boston Red Sox. The righty won 16 games for the Red Sox in 2006, and was a member of the All-Star team in 2007. He pitched the 2007 Red Sox to there second World Series Championship in 3 seasons. Injuries and inconsistancy have remained a factor in the right handers career in Boston.

High School Career

In three seasons as a varsity pitcher at Spring High School, Beckett's record was 32-6. He posted his best ERA, 0.39, and strikeout total, 178, as a Junior. Baseball America named him as a first-team high school All-American, the only junior on the first or second team that year. There were rumors that the ace would be leaving high school early to enter the amateur draft. Instead, Beckett returned for his senior season and went 10-1 with a 0.46 ERA. He allowed 31 hits in 89 innings while striking out 155, and was again a first-team Baseball America High School All-American. USA Today deemed him "High School Pitcher of the Year", and he cemented his spot as one of baseball's best amateur pitchers. Scouts compared the phenom to his childhood idols: Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays passed on Beckett with the first pick, choosing Josh Hamilton. The Marlins signed Beckett to a seven million dollar contract that included a four million dollar signing bonus. Prior to the deal, the last high school pitcher to sign a big league contract was Todd Van Poppel in 1990.


Baseball career

Florida Marlins (2001–2005)

A resident of Spring, Texas, Beckett was discovered by Florida Marlins scout Bob Laurie. Beckett had signed a letter of intent to play with the Texas A&M Aggies but went pro. Beckett spent most of his early years with the Marlins as a member of the team's young staff, but injuries (most frequently blister problems) limited him to only 99 starts (102 appearances) from 2002 to 2005.

Beckett's major league debut was on September 4, 2001, against the Chicago Cubs, in which he gave up one hit over six shutout innings. He finished 2001 with four games started, a 2-2 record, and an ERA of 1.50.

Beckett won the 2003 World Series MVP Award with two strong performances on three days' rest. Teamed up with catcher Iván Rodríguez, he helped the Marlins win the World Series, defeating the New York Yankees. During Game 6 at Yankee Stadium, he shut out the Yankees in a complete game, striking out 9 batters and clinching the series by making the tag for the final out.

Boston Red Sox (2006–present)

In a deal that was made official on Thanksgiving Day, 2005, Beckett was traded to the Red Sox along with third baseman Mike Lowell and relief pitcher Guillermo Mota for minor league prospects shortstop Hanley Ramírez and pitchers Aníbal Sánchez, Jesús Delgado and Harvey García. Beckett and Lowell were among a prominent list of veterans the Marlins traded in what was organizationally termed a market correction.

Josh Beckett was the first Red Sox pitcher to hit a home run in 35 years — since the advent of the designated hitter rule — when he took Phillies' pitcher Brett Myers deep during an interleague game on May 20, 2006. Beckett repeated the feat on June 14, 2009 when he homered against Phillies pitcher J.A. Happ. Having gone deep once while with the Marlins, Beckett has thus hit more home runs playing for an American League team than a National League team. On July 18, 2006, Beckett signed a three-year, $30 million contract extension with a $10 million club option for 2010. Beckett completed his first season with the Boston Red Sox with a record of 16–11 and a 5.01 ERA. In 204.2 IP, he gave up 191 hits and struck out 158 batters while walking 74. Beckett allowed 36 home runs, tied for second most in the majors.

At the start of the 2007 season, Beckett adjusted to throwing more breaking pitches and fewer fastballs. At the same time, he learned to locate his pitches rather than simply get strikes by power. He reduced his walks and home runs allowed by nearly half, contributing to his success in 2007. Beckett became one of six Boston Red Sox pitchers in history to win their first 7 starts. George Winter and Mickey Harris both won their first 7 starts in a particular season, and Babe Ruth, Dave Ferriss and Roger Moret all won their first 8 starts in a particular season. After a strong first half, posting a 12–2 record with a 3.44 ERA, he was selected to the American League team in the 2007 MLB All-Star Game. Beckett earned the victory in the game after pitching two innings, giving up only one hit, and striking out two. Beckett became the first pitcher to win 20 games in a season since 2005, finishing the season with a record of 20–7, a 3.27 ERA, 194 strikeouts, a 1.14 WHIP, and only 40 walks and 17 home runs allowed. Beckett's 2–0 record and 1.93 ERA against the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS earned him the 2007 ALCS MVP Award, and he started and won the first game of the 2007 World Series against the Colorado Rockies, pitching 7 innings, allowing 1 run on 6 hits, and striking out 9 batters. Boston would go on to sweep the Rockies in the series.

On May 8, 2008, Beckett recorded his 1,000th career strikeout, when Brandon Inge of the Detroit Tigers struck out swinging in the seventh inning. Through 2008, Beckett has a 48-28 record and a 4.11 ERA in his three seasons with the Red Sox.

In 2009, during his first Opening Day start with the Red Sox, Beckett struck out 10 through 7 innings allowing only 1 run and two hits in a 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. On April 14, 2009, MLB fined and suspended Josh Beckett 6 games for intentionally throwing over the head of Los Angeles Angels outfielder Bobby Abreu. Beckett later appealed the suspension and later got it reduced to 5 games. The Red Sox exercised their club option on him for the 2010 season.

On June 20, 2009, Beckett recorded his first complete game shutout in three years against the Atlanta Braves in a duel against former Red Sox pitcher Derek Lowe. The shutout was his first in a Red Sox uniform.

On July 5, 2009, Josh was selected to represent Boston in the 2009 All Star Game.

Beckett recorded his 100th career win on July 12, 2009, pitching a complete game shutout against the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park.

On August 7, 2009, Beckett was a part of a memorable game against the New York Yankees. He and former Marlins teammate A. J. Burnett endured a pitching duel that actually sparked the game to turn into a fifteen inning, five hour and thirty-three minute game. Josh threw seven shutout innings, Burnett threw seven and two thirds. The Red Sox eventually lost the game in the bottom of the 15th, when Alex Rodriguez hit a walk-off two run home run.

On April 5, 2010, the Red Sox and Beckett agreed to a four-year, $68 million contract extension, through 2014. He was placed on the disabled list on May 19 with a lower back strain and returned from the injury on July 23.

2003 World Series, 2007 World Series, Boston Red Sox, Florida Marlins, Josh Beckett
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