Yesterday our in-house scout, IJR, got his first look at a couple of pitching prospects: Enyel De Los Santos and Jalen Beeks. The game was in the AAA International League, as the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies) hosted the Pawtucket Red Sox (Red Sox). Here are IJR’s notes from the game:
De Los Santos stands a long-limbed 6’3 and looks bigger than his listed 170 pounds. At 22 years old, he could still add weight and possibly velocity. He has a major league fastball – mid 90s – and a serious change up with nice sink and nifty arm action. And he works quickly, keeping his defense engaged and hitters off-balance.
The curveball was inconsistent, the lone hit in the first on a hanger over the middle third. It was the one pitch the Pawtucket bats would consistently put swings on, though he clearly overmatched the Pigs today. Ultimately the curve will need to improve to earn innings as a starter at the big league level.
He also short arms the ball al la Oil Can Boyd (if anyone is old enough to remember him), part of the reason his changeup is so effective. The lack of extension tends to stress the elbow and does not make good use of his long limbs. But he’s young, athletic and mostly repeats his motion. He’s an interesting pitcher.
Jalen Beeks is an undersized lefty that attacks hitters from a 3/4 arm slot. His fastball sits in the low 90s, and his cutter is effective – particularly against left-handed bats. His curveball was so-so, and he doesn’t really get his glove up as he rotates towards the hitter.
Beeks has great numbers in his second stint in AAA, striking out a whopping 15.74 per 9, with a sparkling 1.71 ERA. And his FIP and xFIP both hover around 1.50, suggesting his numbers are not a mirage. He throws strikes as well, his walk rate sitting around 2.4 per 9.
Beeks could end up a back-end rotation piece, though a left-hand specialist out of the bullpen seems more likely. The 3/4 motion is tough for lefties, but righties have good swings most of the afternoon, and he really didn’t have the steam to run that cutter into right-hand bats. The lack of a dominant pitch will prove challenging at the next level, but cagey lefties sometimes find a way to get the job done.