July 10, 1993
12th round, 2014
School: Prairie Grove
ETA: Late 2018
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Scouting Scratch: Jalen Beeks (6.6.2018)
Tampa Bay for Nathan Eovaldi (July 2018)
Undersized. Filled-out frame with a strong lower half.
Mechanics: Throws from the first base side of the rubber. High
three-quarters arm slot. Stiff delivery with a lot of moving parts, though
his delivery is a lot cleaner and easier now than when he signed. Comes
set with his hands just below his belt and brings them back up with a high
leg kick. Used to have a trunk twist and rocked back at the height of his
delivery, but those became less pronounced during the 2017 season. As his
hands break, he brings his left arm behind his back leg with a wrist hook.
As he delivers, his front foot gets down early and the arm lags behind,
creating added stress on the arm and making it difficult to locate. All
this movement and rigidness creates deception, and coupled with his quick
arm out front makes it tough to pick up the ball out of his hand.
Fastball: 90-92 mph, tops out at 95 mph with life. Also
throws a two-seamer at 87-89 mph that shows late, arm-side run. Fastball
velocity could play up in short stints. Velocity tends to drop into the
high-80s as he works deeper into games. Solid control of pitch, but
command needs refinement. Deception in his delivery and quick arm create
perceived late life on the fastball and it gets on hitters quickly. Fringy
command profile due to inconsistent release point and effort in delivery.
Potential above-average offering.
mph. Added pitch in 2017, scrapping his slider. Throws with short, tight
horizontal break. Sharp pitch when on, that he is willing to use against
both left-handed and right-handed hitters. Pitch records very high spin
rates. Commands pitch better to the glove side where has shown the ability
to run right-handed hitters in on the hands and run it away from
left-handed hitters. Strong feel for the pitch and commands well.
Potential above-average offering.
mph. Pitch has 1-to-7 break with depth, breaking down-and-away from
left-handed hitters. Also struggled with the curve in 2016. At its best,
the pitch is an average offering.
mph. Thrown with deceptive arm speed. Has shown the ability to pull the
string on it with late drop. Reportedly lost his command of the pitch in
2016, but regained it in 2017. Isnít using the pitch as much and it hasnít
shown as well in 2018 due to the development of his cutter. Looked like a
potential average offering in the past.
Was a potential average offering, but Beeks scrapped the pitch in 2017 in
favor of a cutter. 84-86 mph. Showed short, late break. Tended to be more
vertical when thrown harder and showed more tilt in lower velocity ranges.
Career Notes: Missed time due to an elbow injury late
in his junior season at Arkansas that likely caused him to fall in the
draft. Attended 2014 Fall Instructional League. Had something of a
breakout performance in Spring Training 2017, throwing two scoreless
innings in a start against the Team USA World Baseball Classic squad that
later won that tournament despite being told he was starting 15 minutes
before the game.
Summation: Projects as a backend
starter who could jump between the rotation and bullpen if necessary.
Development of cutter and improvement with delivery have given Beeks a
much better chance to start, however there is still bullpen risk
long-term. Addition of the cutter created a four-pitch mix and with
jump in strike out rate in 2018, Beeks represents an intriguing depth
starting option. In shorter stints, Beeks stuff could play up with his
fastball sitting 94-95 mph with two effective off-speed pitches from the
left side, allowing him to be effective against both right-handed and