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Beckham not feeling threatened at second

Gordon Beckham hopes his strong September will carry over into the 2013 season. Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox brought in Jeff Keppinger this offseason to play some third base, with the suggestion circulating that the versatile infielder could wind up at second base if Gordon Beckham's inconsistencies continue.

Beckham, though, says he isn't giving the idea too much thought. And besides, he already has plenty of other things on his mind.

"No, I'm just not worried about that," said Beckham, who is in town for SoxFest a day early and used the extra time to help the ticket office make some sales calls. "If they wanted (Keppinger) to play second base, they probably would have traded me. That's kind of the way I look at that. He's a great player, and he's also a Georgia Bulldog, so I'm sure we will have a lot of fun with that.

"I don't feel like that at all. I'm here to play. I know I can play a great second base and they know that too. I've just get the bat going like I think it will and it will be a good year."

Beckham will head into yet another season trying to recapture the magic of his rookie year in 2009 when he batted .270, hit 14 home runs and drove in 63 runs while playing in 103 games. In a lot of ways that season has been a curse for Beckham. Instead of building on that year he has had trouble just matching it.

Last season, in 151 games, Beckham had a career high in home runs with 16, but his .234 batting average, his .296 on-base percentage and .668 OPS were all well below what he delivered in 2009.

The positive Beckham will latch onto heading into 2013 was his solid final month of the season. He posted a .355 on-base percentage and a .792 OPS in September and the first few days of October. Both of those were his best monthly marks of the season.

"People can say this all the time, but I felt like I hit better than I actually (showed)," Beckham said. "I hit .250 (on balls in play). That's just not having a lot of luck. On days I did feel good and I hit a couple of line drives and one fell as opposed to both. I felt like I hit a lot of balls at people.

"Now if I hit them where I'm supposed to, I might hit .250 or .260. I definitely feel confident where I'm at and what I'm doing now in terms of my swing. Just swinging today, it has been a week since I swung and it feels really good. So I'm just in a good spot."

There are plenty of reasons Beckham likes where he's standing. As an arbitration-eligible player for the first time, his salary jumped from $520,000 in 2012 to $2.925 million this year. On top of that, he is now engaged to his longtime girlfriend, a fellow Georgia native whom he met in Chicago.

"I'm very happy and have a great fiancé," he said. "We're getting married after the season, hopefully after the World Series. That would be very cool."

Beckham is feeling so confident that he actually flipped the Keppinger conversation on its ear. Instead of Keppinger looking like a possibility to take over at second base, Beckham says he would like to return to the No. 2 spot in the order. That spot was believed to be reserved for Keppinger.

"I would rather hit second than down in the order, but it's obviously their call," Beckham said. "I like being a part, a big part of the team. At the second spot, you are setting the table for the guys who are supposed to do all the damage. I like that kind of pressure. That's kind of nice."