Jairo Beras Gets Rangers Career Underway

ARLINGTON—The Rangers' fall instructional league program was under way, and so too their effort to crank up the development of outfielder Jairo Beras.

Beras is one of 61 prospects the Rangers brought to Surprise, Ariz., for workouts and games that run through Oct. 13. Beras can participate in all of those activities, even though he has been suspended by Major League Baseball.

All 30 clubs at one time believed Beras to be 16, based on information he provided to MLB, and thought he would not be eligible to sign until July 2. The Rangers, though, uncovered evidence that he was 17 and agreed to terms in February. The $4.5 million contract triggered an investigation that led to MLB upholding the deal but suspending Beras for a year.

The ordeal was more taxing on the Rangers than it was Beras, who continued to work out at their academy in the Dominican Republic as club brass worried about the contract being thrown out. The 6-foot-6 Beras has added nearly 20 pounds after being put on a weightlifting program.

"I always had their support," Beras said in August, through an interpreter. "I was never nervous. I was confident I was going to play. They told me not to get worried about it."

The Rangers quietly unveiled their prized prospect Aug. 10 at Rangers Ballpark, allowing Beras to take batting practice ahead of the rest of the club. There was no grand news conference, but Beras continues to leave an impression on Rangers brass. He also left some dents in the outfield wall.

He has a timeline for doing it on a more permanent basis. "Two and half years," Beras said. "I play hard. I can do it all."

The Rangers like that confidence, in addition to his obvious tools. They believe Beras' righthanded swing will produce plenty of power, but he also has a feel for hitting, runs well and has a plus arm from a corner outfield spot.

Ranger Roundup

• The Rangers fired four minor league hitting coaches as they try to get a single philosophy flowing throughout the organization. The organization did not renew the contracts of minor league hitting instructor Randy Ready, assistant Luis Ortiz, Triple-A coach Brant Brown and high Class A coach Julio Garcia, as well as Triple A pitching coach Terry Clark.

• The Rangers' Triple-A and Double-A affiliations won't change anytime soon. They extended their contracts with Round Rock and Frisco through 2018. The Round Rock club is co-owned by Rangers president Nolan Ryan.