- Full name Blake William Beavan
- Born 01/17/1989 in Irving, TX
- Profile Ht.: 6'7" / Wt.: 255 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Irving
- Debut 07/03/2011
Drafted in the 1st round (17th overall) by the Texas Rangers in 2007 (signed for $1,497,500).
View Draft ReportBeavan set the tone for a dominant senior season last summer, when he threw an 11-strikeout shutout against Cuba--in Cuba--during the quarterfinals of the World Junior Championship. The ace of Team USA and Baseball America's 2006 Youth Player of the Year, Beavan allowed two earned runs in 11 starts this spring, including an 18-whiff perfect game and a 15-strikeout one-hitter in the playoffs. He has pitched at 91-96 mph with his fastball all spring, and some scouts believe his hard slider may be his best pitch. His 6-foot-7, 210-pound frame adds to his intimidating presence, and it's tough for righthanders to dig in when he drops down to a lower three-quarters arm angle. Beavan's mechanics are the only thing that give scouts pause about him. He has some recoil and effort in his arm action, and he often stays too upright and doesn't finish over his front side. He also tips his pitches at times by varying his arm slot. Despite those concerns, Beavan has been durable and should go in the middle of the first round. He committed to Oklahoma but won't be a tough sign.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Justin Smoak headlined the package the Mariners received in the Cliff Lee trade with the Rangers last July, but Seattle also received pitching prospects Beavan and Josh Lueke along with minor league second baseman/ outfielder Matt Lawson. Baseball America's 2006 Youth Player of the Year, Beavan went 17th overall in the 2007 draft and signed for $1,497,500. He flashed 95-96 mph heat as an amateur, but once he started pitching every five days as a pro, his fastball settled into the 90-92 mph range. His fastball is still effective because it has good sink and he pounds the lower half of the strike zone with a smooth, repeatable delivery. He had the lowest walk rate (1.1 per nine innings) of any Double-A or Triple-A starter in 2010. Beavan's slider is his best secondary pitch, featuring good tilt and occasional late bite. He also mixes in a changeup that projects to be an average pitch. Beavan needs to work on staying on top of the ball to give his fastball better angle and his secondary pitches better depth. He's a good athlete for his size with strong competitive makeup. While Beavan doesn't blow scouts away with overpowering stuff, his ability to throw strikes and his workhorse build suggest he could be an innings eater as a No. 4 starter.
Pitching just once a week in high school, Beavan routinely ran his fastball up to 95-96 mph, helping him capture Baseball America's 2006 Youth Player of the Year award as he anchored the U.S. junior national team's pitching staff. But after signing for $1,497,500 as the 17th overall pick in the 2007 draft, his velocity was down to 89-91 for much of his pro debut in 2008. He learned how to succeed without his best stuff and ranked fourth in the Midwest League with a 2.37 ERA. He regained a bit of his velocity last year, touching 93 while pitching his way to Frisco, which is 30 miles from his hometown of Irving, Texas. Beavan has a mammoth, durable frame and a tenacious demeanor to match. He pounds the bottom of the strike zone without fear of contact. His four-seam fastball has good run, and he mixes in a two-seamer with decent sink. He has developed an average changeup, but his slider lacks depth and lateness, making it a fringy offering at best. The Rangers still hope Beavan will throw harder, and even if he doesn't he can be a strike-throwing innings-eater at the back of a big league rotation. He is scheduled to open 2010 in Double-A.
Pitching just once a week in high school, Beavan routinely ran his fastball up to 95-96 mph, helping him capture Baseball America's 2006 Youth Player of the Year award and anchor the U.S. junior national team's pitching staff. But after he signed for $1,497,500 as the 17th overall pick in the 2007 draft, his stuff was down four most of his first full pro season in 2008. The good news is that he learned how to succeed without overpowering hitters. He also matured significantly, learning how to deal with the media and be a good teammate. Beavan's fastball sat around 89-91 for most of the year, and he had a tendency to drop his elbow and pitch from a low three-quarters slot, causing his fastball to run but not sink. He worked hard to repeat a higher arm slot and pitch downhill, and to use his height to create more momentum in his delivery. Beavan's velocity climbed back to 93-95 mph in shorter stints during instructional league, and he began filling out his frame, particularly his lower half. He needs to add power to his slider, which tends to break too early out of his hand and often gets slurvy. He flashes an average changeup but is still learning to pitch with it. Beavan never has been afraid to challenge hitters, and perhaps his best asset is his ability to pound the strike zone. With a big, physical frame and the guts to match, Beavan projects as at least an innings-eating sinkerballer or perhaps a late-inning reliever. If his stuff bounces back, his ceiling will be even higher. He'll remain a starter for the foreseeable future and should advance to high Class A in 2009.
Beavan was Baseball America's 2006 Youth Player of the Year after serving as the ace for the U.S. junior national team, which included striking out 11 in a shutout against Cuba on Cuban soil. He followed his standout summer with a dominating senior season, which included an 18-strikeout perfect game, and bypassed a commitment to Oklahoma to sign with the Rangers for $1,497,500 right before the Aug. 15 signing deadline. Beavan has an imposing, workhorse frame and a swagger on the mound. He pounds the strike zone with an above-average heavy fastball that sits at 92-94 mph and reaches 96 when he needs it. His mid-80s slider can be a plus pitch at times as well. Beavan tends to use a lower arm slot with his slider than he does with his fastball, causing it to flatten out. He should be able to tighten the pitch by cleaning up his delivery, and his velocity could climb if he learns to finish pitches instead of cutting himself off. He'll need to develop his nascent changeup to stick as a starter. He can be too brash at times, and he got a taste of humble pie in instructional league. Some scouts think Beavan profiles best as a two-pitch bullpen ace with a nasty streak, but the Rangers will give him every chance to start. He figures to make his pro debut at short-season Spokane in June.
Minor League Top Prospects
Since signing with his hometown Rangers as the 17th overall pick in the 2007 draft, Beavan hasn't shown the same mid-90s fastball he had as an amateur. But he has improved his aptitude for pitching, which helped him win Beavan was on his way to the TL pitcher of the year award when he left Frisco at the beginning of July when the Rangers included him in the Cliff Lee trade with the Mariners. Beavan's fastball has settled into the 88-92 mph range. He throws two breaking balls, with his slider rating as better than his curveball, and his changeup showed progress this season. Unlike Crow, whose premium stuff seems to play down, his more pedestrian His stuff plays up because of his feel for pitching and strong fastball command. Beavan's supporters see him as a potential No. 3 starter because of his big frame and ability to make quality pitches with four different offerings. Others see him as a back-of-the-rotation starter because he lacks a true plus pitch.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Pitching Prospect in the Texas League in 2010
- Rated Best Control in the Texas League in 2010
- Rated Best Control in the Texas Rangers in 2010