Just a couple of days after his second strong start of the 2011 season for the Tacoma Rainiers, this guy is next up on the list of the Top 20 Prospects:
12. Blake Beavan
Position: RHP | Hits: R Throws: R
DOB: 1/17/1989 | HT: 6’7″ WT: 240 LB
Notes: A big, young, high-command pitcher, Beavan is a much different pitcher now than he was when the Rangers made him the 17th overall pick in 2007.
When he was signed out of high school, Beavan was a kid with a 95 MPH fastball and the body to add even more velocity; now, just three and a half years later, he sits 89-91 and touches 93. So what happened? As it turns out, the Rangers loved his outlook, but were seriously concerned with his “violent” mechanics, and in order to keep him healthy, they overhauled his throwing motion.
Along the way, that change helped him improve his command significantly. While he can no longer blow by hitters as he once did, Beavan keeps his fastball down and pounds the lower half of the zone. Unlike Doug Fister’s arrow-straight fastball, Beavan’s gets a little bit of run on it, further helping him avoid strong contact.
Beavan also offers up a slider and a changeup to hitters. The slider is really only an average pitch, sometimes getting good tilt and run, and sometimes frisbee-ing out on him. That pitch needs to become more consistent to sustain success. The changeup is also currently an average pitch, but it’s developed well over the last year or so. Some feel that it could become a plus pitch; I tend to think more solid-average or slightly above average. Still, given the rest of his repetoir, it will become a valuable pitch for him either way.
The big thing with Beavan is just getting consistent. He tends to get away from his mechanics at times, which leads to his fastball elevating and his secondary offerings losing all effectiveness. That was seen in full form in his rocky (at best) seven starts with AAA Tacoma last year. He has the stuff to be a very good back-of-the-rotation starter, and while that’s not the upside he used to have, it’s not a bad type of player to have in your system at all.
2011 Outlook: Fine-tuning time in Tacoma, then an eventual call-up to Seattle when injury in the rotation necessitates it.
Major League ETA: Mid-2011