After missing more than a month of the season, William Beckwith hopes to be back in the lineup today for the Gulf Coast League Braves.
Beckwith, a 21st-round draft pick of the Atlanta Braves on June 8, hopes to see his name on the lineup card when the GCL Braves host the GCL Tigers in Kissimmee, Fla.
Beckwith, a 2008 graduate of West Lowndes High School, hasn”t played since July 13 when he became dehydrated.
Returning to the lineup would be a nice birthday present for Beckwith, who turns 20 years old today.
“It will be a good feeling,” Beckwith said of returning to action. “I”m very excited. Hopefully I can do good in the game on my birthday.”
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound first baseman hasn”t played since going 1-for-3 with an RBI against the GCL Yankees.
Beckwith was taken out of the game against the Yankees and he hasn”t played since.
“I had to go to the hospital and get a lot of IV fluids,” Beckwith said. “During the game I told my coaches I was cramping in my lower back. Then it was like, ”We”ll go to the dressing room and go see the doctor,” so I went back there and it got worse and my whole body started cramping up and they rushed me to the hospital.”
Beckwith hasn”t practiced with the team or played in a game while waiting to be cleared to play again.
He said he isn”t the only player who has become dehydrated playing under the hot Florida sun. He blames becoming dehydrated on not drinking enough water, which he is doing now.
“I was drinking, but that particular day I had got up kind of late and was rushing to the field and then all I had was an energy drink, which was not good for me,” Beckwith said.
Beckwith is used to playing in hot, humid weather being raised in Mississippi, but he still has had to get acclimated to the weather in Florida.
“It gets real hot, like 95 almost every day,” Beckwith said. “It”s just a little more humid. Plus we play every game at 12 o”clock. Then we practice before every game, so we”ve already sweated a lot and used a lot of energy.”
Beckwith is hitting .254 in 16 games. He scored six runs with three doubles, two home runs, and 14 RBIs.
“I felt like I was doing OK,” Beckwith said. “I could have done a lot better. I was swinging at bad pitches. I had to get used to the pitching. It was a little different from college.”
The GCL Braves have nine games remaining in the season and Beckwith would like to finish on a positive note.
Beckwith was drafted out of Wallace-Dothan Community College in Alabama, where he hit .424 with 14 homers and 61 RBIs in 48 games this past season.
He led West Lowndes High to the state playoffs and a 15-6 record his senior season, batting .517 with four home runs and 32 RBIs.
In June, Beckwith was drafted for the second time. He was selected in the 46th round by the Kansas City Royals following his senior season at West Lowndes High.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.
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