Beerer's Long Road Leads To Orioles

BALTIMORE—On the same day that the Orioles introduced Dan Duquette as their new general manager, manager Buck Showalter told reporters that they had agreed to terms with a minor league free agent. He mentioned that the club wanted to "get out in front" with this player to avoid losing him to another organization.

It turned out to be 29-year-old outfielder Scott Beerer, their first six-year free agent of the offseason, and certainly not their last.

The Rockies selected Beerer in the second round of the 2003 draft out of Texas A&M, after he was named an all-American as a two-way player with the Aggies, and he began his pro career as a pitcher. Injuries kept stalling him, including a torn labrum that required surgery in October 2003.

Beerer registered 23 saves at low Class A Asheville in 2005 and moved up to high Class A Modesto the following season, but he lost significant velocity on his fastball. He no longer could attack hitters in the same fashion.

Unable to regain his full health, Beerer retired in 2007 and appeared to be done with baseball. He moved to Southern California, intent on changing careers, but began working on his swing with former Orioles outfielder Brady Anderson. Those sessions led him back to the Rockies as an outfielder.

Beerer actually made it back to Modesto in 2009 and hit . 346 with 40 RBIs in 52 games. He appeared in 52 games with the Nuts in 2009, batting .346/.413/550 with eight doubles, five triples, seven homers and 40 RBIs in 191 at-bats. His transformation was going a lot smoother than the most optimistic team official could have imagined.

Beerer spent 2010 at Double-A Tulsa, batting .258/.295/.315 with 10 doubles, four homers and 40 RBIs in 391 at-bats. He hit a combined .315/.356/.479 this season between Tulsa and Triple-A Colorado Springs with 16 homers and 70 RBIs.

Despite batting from the right side, Beerer hit .389 against righthanded pitching after joining Colorado Springs.

Bird Seed

• Double-A Bowie first baseman Joe Mahoney got a late start with the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League, but he made up for lost time. Sidelined early with an oblique injury, Mahoney hit .325/.360/.542 with six doubles, four homers and 22 RBIs in 83 at-bats.

• Righthander Sean Gleason saved 32 games at high Class A Frederick, but he got roughed up in the AFL. Gleason went 1-1, 16.62 in 12 games, with 35 hits allowed in 13 innings.