06/06/08 7:50 PM ET
Second Beckham selected by Rays
One day later, Jeremy follows kid brother, Tim, to Tampa
By Ryan Lavner / MLB.com
Given the right opportunity, Jeremy said they could turn effortless double plays together, anchoring the middle infield on a Major League club.
Thanks to the Tampa Bay Rays, the Beckhams will have that chance.
It's a dream, you could say, come true.
Jeremy was selected by the Rays on Friday with the first pick of the 17th round, the 503rd overall, in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. His younger brother, Tim, who recently graduated from Griffin High School, was the first overall pick on Thursday.
About 100 friends and family attended a Draft party on Thursday for Tim and Jeremy, knowing they would both be selected by some club during the two-day Draft. And although Jeremy said at the party that the Rays were interested in signing him, it was still a long shot that both Beckhams would start their big league careers in the same system.
"It's dream-like," Jeremy said in a telephone interview on Friday. "It's just surreal right now. I know what's happening, but it feels like I'm in a daze right now."
Tim still hasn't emerged from his fog either. In the 24 hours since he became the No. 1 overall pick, the prep shortstop has been all over the sports media.
"It's a dream right now," Tim said. "I'm living the dream."
And now, the Beckhams can live their dream of playing professional baseball together. It's something Jeremy has fantasized about for quite some time.
"I've dreamed about it at night, seriously," Jeremy said of playing on the same team as his brother. "It's hard to explain, but it's just a different feel with my brother in the middle infield. Everything is so natural."
Asked his first thought when he heard the Rays had drafted his brother, Tim said, "Double plays, baby."
"It'll be good for both of them," said Griffin H.S. coach Jamie Cassady, who noted Jeremy was the best defensive infielder he's coached. "Jeremy will work Tim to death."
When told of that, Tim replied, "Working me to death is what I need."
Tampa Bay's decision to draft the tandem can only do wonders for their progression through the Minor League system.
Rays' top five selections
|1.||RHP||Tim Beckham||Griffin HS (Ga.)|
|47.||RHP||Kyle Lobstein||Coconino HS (Ariz.)|
|78.||2B||Jacob Jefferies||UC Davis|
|113.||RHP||Christopher Morrison||Tigard HS (Ore.)|
|143.||RHP||Michael Sheridan||Col William & Mary|
|Complete Rays Draft results >|
"Will the move to draft Jeremy help Tim transition?" Rays scouting director R.J. Harrison said. "I think it certainly can't hurt. They have a real close relationship, and I know that [Rays scout] Milton [Hill] was there last Monday and spent five hours with the kids, just watching them banter back and forth. I think it will be great. They will be really good for one another and good for the club."
Tim has said he adopted his relentless work ethic from Jeremy, who, during his senior season at Georgia Southern University, batted .333 and had 24 stolen bases in 51 games.
"Mills watched him for the last four years out of Georgia Southern," Harrison said. "He's a [player] we think could help the organization. He's a good baserunner; he's going to be a good asset to the organization. We are always looking to add good people."
Jeremy, 22, said the Minors' daily grind won't be nearly as insufferable with his 18-year-old brother -- and best friend -- alongside.
"Going through the Minors and the stories you hear about how grueling it is, it's good to know your family is there and someone is going through the same thing," Jeremy said.
They'll be able to push each other through workouts -- as they have done for years. And they'll provide support when one goes through an inevitable slump.
The Beckhams will head back to work in one or two weeks, Jeremy predicted.
"We're starting at the bottom of the totem pole, but the Beckhams are ready to play," Jeremy said. "We've just got to keep working hard, and we're just starting out our grind. We're hoping to some day be on the biggest stage and perform."
Ryan Lavner is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.