SP Jalen Beeks

The Allented Mr Ripley

holden
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DOB: July 10, 1993
Bats/Throws: L/L
Ht: 5' 11" Wt: 195
Draft: Round 12 (2014)
School: Arkansas

Beeks has started the year at Portland on a tear, yielding no ER in 5 of his 6 starts. He's currently 5-1 with a 1.38 ERA, and more impressively, he has 41Ks in 32.2 IP.

I saw one of his starts at Hadlock, he throws consistently in the low 90s. His offspeed stuff seemed to primarily be a slider in the mid-to-high 80s and a changeup that was a little slower. Didn't see many (if any) curves.

Given the questionable state of starting pitching in Boston, I wonder if Beeks will end up getting a look sometime in the mid-to-late summer.
 

Cesar Crespo

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He's probably close to a promotion since he made a handful of starts in Portland last year as well. His strikeout rate has increased considerably this year but his walk rate has too. He's walking almost a batter every 2 innings. He has 16 walks in those 32.2ip. That has to improve.
 

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holden
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Beeks pitched well but got a no-decision in the Sea Dogs' loss this afternoon:
http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=656222
Jalen Beeks (ND) began the game having thrown 24 consecutive scoreless innings. After escaping a jam and stranding a runner on third base, Beeks allowed a leadoff home run buy Dillon Thomas over the Dunkin' Donuts video board in the second inning. Beeks' 25 consecutive scoreless innings goes down as the second-longest streak in franchise history (Henry Owens, 27.2).

Hartford tied the game two batters later on a solo homer by Dom Nunez to make it 2-2.

Beeks delivered another quality start for Portland, allowing two runs on six hits in 6.2 innings. He walked one and struck out seven.
 

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holden
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Beeks had a rough outing on 5/24 vs. NH (3 IP, 4H, 3 ER, 4BB, 3K), but rebounded nicely yesterday at Reading (7 IP, 7H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7K). He got no-decisions for both games, so his record still stands at 5-1. Season ERA is 2.19 in 49.1 IP, 58K, 22BB, 1.16 WHIP.
 

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Beeks was promoted to Pawtucket on Saturday and pitched his first AAA start in Durham yesterday, it didn't go so well: 6 IP, 6H, 4 ER, 3BB, 3 K. There was a 24-minute rain delay between the second and third innings, after which Beeks gave up 3 runs in the bottom of the third.
 

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Jalen took the loss last night at home against Lehigh Valley, but it wasn't a bad outing:

Jalen Beeks suffered the loss despite a relatively strong outing, fanning nine in 6 1/3 innings. The left-hander was making his fourth Triple-A start since his promotion from Portland and had a four-pitch mix, collecting six strikeouts on his fastball, two on his changeup and one on a slider. He threw 63 of his 105 pitches for strikes and got 15 swings and misses.
He gave up 3 earned runs on 4 hits and 3 walks. He's averaging a hair under a strikeout per inning in AAA (24 in 25 IP), and his WHIP is 1.08. I wouldn't be shocked to see him get a spot start with the Sox sometime this year.
 

Cesar Crespo

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If you omit his first start in AAA, his last 3 starts he's pitched 19 innings with 21k/5bb, and a 2.84 era. Hitters are slashing .186/.250/.271 on a .250 BAbip. Looks like he's been sitting at 93-94 in the first couple innings before losing some stuff off his fastball. Last year he was around 91-92. After the first few innings, his fastball drops in the 89-92 range. That's probably why most people have him projected as a bullpen arm. His fastball has some deception on it though.
 

Cesar Crespo

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He is now at 43.2ip in AAA, 2.89era, 34h, 14er, 15bb/47k. Hitters slashing .210/.283/.309 on a .281 BAbip.

Season totals 93.0ip, 69h, 26er, 5 HRA, 105k/37bb, .204/.291/.305, .278 BAbip.

K Rate and BB rate by year
2015 16.2% K 4.5% BB
2016 19.1% K 9.0% BB
2017 27.4% K 9.7% BB

That's interesting progression. I wonder if he made a conscious effort to sacrifice some control for some strikeouts.
 

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Beeks continues to impress, picking up another win with a strong start last night:

Jalen Beeks shined over six strong innings, and the Pawtucket Red Sox offense backed him up with a six-run sixth en route to a 7-1 victory over the Toledo Mud Hens on Wednesday night at Fifth Third Field.

Beeks (W, 4-4) stacked up eight strikeouts over his six frames, allowing just five hits, a walk and a run. After giving up a pair of hits in the first inning, Beeks retired nine consecutive Mud Hens across the first and fourth innings. The 24-year old former Arkansas Razorback has struck out 58 — against just 18 walks — in his 56 Triple-A innings and has notched a sturdy 2.89 ERA.
 

Sox Puppet

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Apart from being an honorary Reggie Cleveland All-Star already, what do folks think is his long-term upside in the Sox rotation? I haven't seen him pitch personally, but the results would indicate he should be solidly in the mix for the Brian Johnson/Hector Velasquez/Doug Fister role.
 

Detts

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He is pretty much cementing himself to be a September promotion and going into the bullpen. Spring training will have a lot to do with where he ends up on the roster.
 

Byrdbrain

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I'm not sure he'll come up this year. He was drafted in 2014 so he doesn't need to be added to the 40 man until after next year. I'm not sure the potential upgrade he represents over Velazquez is worth losing two years of control.
I assume he'll be invited to Spring Training next year and then maybe he'll get a shot.

As a note I am almost always wrong about this stuff so he is likely a lock to come up in September.

Edit: I may even be wrong about when he needs to be added. It is 4 seasons after he signed his contract so he may need to be added after this season.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Yeah, according to SoxProspects he's Rule 5 eligible this winter, and given his performance as a 24-year-old in Pawtucket it seems like a pretty good bet he could be claimed if not added. They'll need to either add him to the 40-man or trade him by December, so they might as well add him sometime in the stretch run if the need is there.
 

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Beeks followed up his worst start of the year on 8/2 (6 IP, 5 ER, 10 H) with a better performance on Tues, picking up a win at home against Charlotte: 6 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 1BB, 6K.

He's 5-4 at AAA, 3.18 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, .227 BAA, 70K/21BB in 68 IP.
 

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Beeks has thrown well in his last two starts: a no-decision on 8/13 vs. Columbus at home (6 IP, 2H, 1 ER, 6K/2BB) and a win on 8/18 vs. Columbus on the road (7 IP, 7H, 2 ER, 5K/1BB).

His 2017 stats for the entire year (Portland and Pawtucket) and just at AAA:

Year: 11-5, 2.69 ERA, 130.1 IP, 1.14 WHIP, .213 BAA, 139K/46BB
AAA: 6-4, 3.00 ERA, 81 IP, 1.12 WHIP, .221 BAA, 81K/24BB

It's interesting to note that he walked 22 batters in 49.1 innings at Portland, and has walked 24 batters in 81 innings at Pawtucket.
 
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The Allented Mr Ripley

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Beeks finished up the season with 3 straight subpar starts, giving up 14 ER in 14.2 IP, losing all 3 decisions. 19 hits yielded in that span, with 16K/9BB. A downer way to end what was otherwise a positive year.
 

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Beeks is off to a hot start in Pawtucket: In four starts he's 2-1, 1.37 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, .178 BAA, 37 Ks in 19.2 IP. In his last two starts he struck out 10 batters in 6 IP and 11 batters in 5.2 IP.
 

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Beeks keeps cruising, although he hasn't picked up any wins to show for it. In his last two starts he's pitched 6.2 and 5 innings respectively, giving up 9 hits & 2 walks combined for 3 ER total with 15 strikeouts. Got a no-decision in one start, a loss in the other.

Season totals (6 starts): 2-2, 1.72 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, .191 BAA, 52Ks in 31.1 IP.

If the Sox didn't have a logjam of "spot start" pitchers without options (Johnson, Wright), Beeks would likely be the next guy to step in.
 
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ehaz

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Fangraphs includes Jalen Beeks in the Fringe Five

Beeks is here because his body of work over the first month of the season is impossible to ignore. In six starts for Triple-A Pawtucket, the left-hander has recorded strikeout and walk rates of 40.9% and 6.3%, respectively, the former of those representing the highest mark among all qualified minor-league pitchers. He’s basically the Josh Hader or Andrew Miller of the International League, except in a starting capacity.

One reason Beeks is unlikely to replicate that sort of performance in the majors is because no one has every replicated that sort of performance in the majors. Another, though, is because Beeks — for all his strikeouts — doesn’t actually possess much in the way of swing-and-miss stuff. Consider, for example, all six of the strikeouts from his most recent appearance (box):


All but one of Beeks’ strikeouts was recorded by means of a rather ordinary fastball; the sixth, a short breaking ball on a called third strike. Nor does this pattern appear to be anomalous. An examination of Beeks’ last three starts seems to reveal an inordinately high ratio of strikeouts by way of the fastball and/or the called third strike. And while, as noted, he has the top strikeout rate among all minor-league qualifiers, his swinging-strike rate ranks 61st among that same population. Of course, this doesn’t render his present achievement any less remarkable. It merely suggests that it’s unlikely to translate directly to the majors.
I don't quite get the last bit of analysis though. Sure, Jalen Beeks has the 61st ranked swinging-strike rate at 14.1%, but in comparison, Chris Sale's career SwSt% in the Majors is 12.6%. He's also ahead of #RealPitchingProspects like Justus Sheffield, Alex Faedo, Stephen Gonsalves, etc. Finally, I'm pretty sure some of the strikeouts from the GIF are from his new cutter, not the 4-seam.

Look, I know AAA dominance does not equal MLB success, but if Beeks continues to perform like this in AAA with "fringe-average stuff" it's anybody's guess. He could be a nobody, a pen arm, or lefty Kyle Hendricks.
 

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Beeks pitched a great game yesterday at Norfolk, giving up one run in 7 innings with 7 K's for the win.

He had been mediocre in his three starts prior to last night; not atrocious, but nothing approaching his earlier starts, although he kept up his high K rate (21Ks in 18 innings over the three starts).

Season totals so far (10 starts): 3-3, 2.56 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, .197 BAA, 80Ks in 56.1 IP.