Joshua Patrick Beckett was born on May 15, 1980 in Spring, Texas, a suburb of Houston and is a starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. He grew up idolizing Roger Clemens and always wanted to be a pitcher in the big leagues. He developed his cocky attitude and fiery competitiveness early in his life. He made a name for himself as a high school sophomore and by the time he was a senior many scouts were saying he was the top high school pitcher in the country.
Template:TocLeft A native of Spring, Texas, Beckett has grown to become one of the premier young pitchers in the major leagues. He was discovered by the Florida Marlins scout Bob Laurie (responsible for Jason Stokes as well). His career thus far has been impressive, but injuries (most of the time blister problems) limited him to only 103 starts (106 appearances) in his first five years as a Major Leaguer. His most productive season came in 2005, when he posted career-highs in wins(15), starts (29), innings (178.2), strikeouts (166) and WHIP (1.18), as he tossed in a sharp 3.38 ERA for good measure. He also hadn't won more than 10 games until the past campaign.
Beckett achieved fame in the 2003 postseason by winning the World Series MVP Award with two great performances on only three days' rest. Teamed up with star catcher Ivan Rodriguez, he helped the Florida Marlins win the World Series over the favored Yankees, 4 games to 2.
In a deal that was made official on Thanksgiving Day in 2005, Beckett was traded to the Boston Red Sox along with third baseman Mike Lowell and relief pitcher Guillermo Mota for minor league prospects shortstop Hanley Ramirez and pitchers Anibal Sanchez, Jesus Delgado and Harvey Garcia. Beckett and Lowell, along with fellow players Carlos Delgado, Luis Castillo, Paul Lo Duca, Guillermo Mota, Alex Gonzalez, are the most prominent among a list of veterans the Marlins traded in what was organizationally termed a market correction. The Marlins drastically trimmed their payroll, possibly in preparation for a future relocation of the franchise out of Florida.
Josh Beckett became 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 fell to the Marlins with the #2 pick in the 1999 draft because Tampa Bay was worried that he was too cocky and had too much of an attitude. Florida was more than happy to take him. After just 199.1 IP in the minor leagues, Beckett debuted for the Marlins in a September call-up in 2001. The big Texan dominated the competition, striking out 24 in 24 innings over 4 starts. He went only 2-2 despite a 1.50 ERA. From that point on it was obvious that Beckett was going to stick in the big leagues. He was a vital member of the 2003 Florida Marlins team that won the World Series and was named the World Series MVP with his heroics against the New York Yankees.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox are hoping that Beckett can put his injuries behind him and give them a second ace behind Curt Schilling. In his first 4 full years in the big leagues, Beckett has landed on the DL 9 times. Most of his injuries have been related to blisters on his pitching hand and he has never reached the 180 IP mark in a season. They acquired him during the off-season in 2005 during a firesale by the Florida Marlins along with Mike Lowell. He spent 4 injury-filled full seasons with the Marlins, but managed to increase the number of games he started every year (21 in 2002 to 23 to 26 to 29 in 2005).
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.
Josh Beckett became 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.
On July 18, 2006, Beckett signed a three-year, $30 million contract extension with a $10 million club option for 2010.
At the start of the season, Beckett adjusted to throwing more breaking pitches than just fastballs. To date, Beckett has gone 17-6 as of September 4, 2007, with a 3.30 ERA, and was selected to the American League team in the 2007 MLB All-Star Game, where he was the victorious pitcher. Beckett led the AL in victories in 2007 with 20. Beckett went 4-0 in the postseason, leading the Red Sox to a World Series Title. He went on to finish 2nd in the AL CY Young race, losing out to Indians pitcher CC Sabathia.
News, Opinion, and Rumors
Beckett is a power pitcher with an over-the-top delivery. His four-seam fastball ranges from 92-97 mph with heavy tailing action through the zone. He complements it with a heavy sinker (90-94 mph) a knee-buckling 12-6 curveball (73-79 mph) and a deceptive changeup that tails in at 82-86 mph. Beckett generally frustrates hitters by painting the outside corner with his fastball, tailing his changeups inside, and striking batters out swinging with his sinker and curve.
He has fantastic stuff with a fastball that tops out around 98 and has a lot of movement, a solid change up, and a tight curveball. His control has improved every year that he's been in the majors. He also has no problems pitching inside to hitters. He has the potential to be an ace, but many feel that injuries and the inability to take that next step will limit him as a solid second starter.
Most Known For
- In the 2007 season, Josh Beckett became one of six Boston Red Sox pitchers of all time 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.
- Beckett's first start of his career was in Houston, Texas on September 4th, 2001. There was a crowd of at least 500 fans seated near the baselines, cheering for Josh, called "The Beckett Bunch."
- Won a World Series with the Florida Marlins in 2003 and again with the Boston Red Sox in 2007
- Became a household name with a complete game shutout on 3 days rest in game 6 of the 2003 World Series against the New York Yankees
- Won the World Series MVP in 2003
- Lead the league in shutouts in 2004 and 2005
- Won the ALCS MVP in 2007
Baseball Reference (through age 25)