Is Prospect Jalen Beeks Ready for Majors?

Photo Credit: Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald

Jalen Beeks is one of the more notable prospects in the Red Sox organization.

Drafted in the 12th round of the MLB Amature Draft in 2014, MLB Pipeline has Beeks rated as the 16th best Red Sox prospect and SoxProspect.com listed Beeks as the 10th best Red Sox prospect in Dec. of 2017, as well as naming him “SoxProspects 2017 Pitcher of the Year”. On Nov. 19, 2017, Beeks was placed on the active roster for the Boston Red Sox and will be pitching at Spring Training, but could Red Sox fans expect to see Beeks in the Majors soon?

Beeks throws both a four-seam and two-seam fastball, which clock in at around 91-95 mph and 87-89 mph respectively. Beeks’s curveball breaks down and away from left-handed batters and has a velocity around 75mph and his changeup’s velocity is around 85 mph. Beeks’s last pitch is a cutter with a similar velocity to the changeup. Beeks is a southpaw starter, which could raise some concern, as four of the six Major League starters are also southpaws.

In 2013 Beeks was pitching out of the bullpen for the University of Arkansas. In his 29 bullpen appearances, Beeks pitched 41 innings with a 0.980 WHIP and 2.20 ERA. His second and final season with the University of Arkansas, which also happened to be the first season of Red Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi, was his first season as a starter.

Beeks started 13 games and had a 1.98 ERA, 1.070 WHIP, and a 6-4 record. He had two great seasons in college, but an elbow injury during his senior year could have possibly been the reason he was drafted in the 12th round.

While Beeks’s time in the Gulf Coast League was only five innings long, his season in Single-A with the Greenville Drive was mediocre. He started 26 games, won nine of them, and lost seven games with a 4.32 ERA and a 1.263 WHIP. During his 2016 season, Beeks played in High Single-A and Double-A starting another 26 games with a 3.87 ERA and a 1.440 WHIP.

Beeks continued to play for the Portland Sea Dogs in the beginning of 2017, starting nine games with a 2.19 ERA, 1.155 WHIP, and a 5-1 record. On June 3, 2017, Beeks was called up to the Triple-A team, the Pawtucket Red Sox and started 17 games. While Beeks’s ERA rose to 3.86 during his time in Pawtucket, his WHIP of 1.244 and ERA were still better than his 2016 stats.

While Beeks has been on the rise recently, his slightly higher ERA in Pawtucket may be one of the reasons he is starting the 2018 season in Pawtucket. Beeks had excellent stats in Portland and has a large sum of potential, meaning he could make his Major League debut as early as this coming season.

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