Tim Beckham injury: Rays IF tears ACL, out for part of 2014

Al Messerschmidt

The former first overall pick won't see action early on in 2014

Tampa Bay Rays infielder Tim Beckham tore the ACL in his right knee while working out and the injury will have a significant impact on his his 2014 season per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

More Rays coverage: DRays Bay

While the former first overall pick wasn't likely to make the major league roster out of spring training, he seemed poised to be one of the first call-ups in the event the Rays required middle infield help. Beckham hasn't lived up to expectations as a first overall pick (taken ahead of the likes of Buster Posey and Eric Hosmer, no less) but his loss will still be felt given his proximity to the majors and the importance of middle infield depth.

He received a late season cup of coffee in 2013, splitting 14 innings between second base and shortstop while compiling a .429/.375/.429 slash line in eight plate appearances. His minor league statistics were less impressive, as he showed little power (four home runs) and moderate speed (17 stolen bases, though he was caught seven times) to go with his middling .276/.342/.387 slash line.

This is the second significant injury to a Rays middle infield prospect in the last year, as Hak-Ju Lee, acquired in the trade that sent Matt Garza to the Chicago Cubs, missed all but 15 games last season with knee trouble. While ACL recovery times have improved over the years, it's unlikely Beckham gets back into action before July or August, if then.

With the Royals signing Omar Infante earlier on Friday, the free agent crop of middle infielders got even thinner, should the Rays look there for reinforcements.

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