Clayton Beeter has been in the Dodgers organization for just over a year. He had been on the mound in professional games for just four months. But he is clearly a pitcher on the move.
“We knew when we drafted him that he had two major league pitches that day, and I think both have improved,” Dodgers farm director Will Rhymes said.
“We couldn’t be more happy with what he’s doing.”
Beeter, a 2020 supplemental second-rounder from Texas Tech, redshirted in 2018 as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound righthander was eased back in as the closer in 2019 before starting in 2020 for just four games before Covid-19 shut the season down.
After spending time at the alternate training site last summer, Beeter made his delayed pro debut at High-A Great Lakes this season. But he didn’t stay there long.
Beeter held High-A hitters to a .212 average, striking out 55 in 37.1 innings before an August promotion to Double-A Tulsa—where he started off even better, allowing just four hits while striking out 12 in 6.1 innings over his first two starts.
At the time of the draft, the key question about Beeter’s future centered on his control. In his first year at Texas Tech, he walked 20 in 20.2 innings. But Rhymes credits the Dodgers’ performance coaches with giving Beeter direction in his offseason work last winter.
Beeter took the direction and ran with it.
The 22-year-old cut his walk rate in his brief 2020 college season—four in 21 innings—and walked 17 in his first 43.2 innings this season, gaining better command of some of the best pure stuff in the Dodgers’ system.
“I really tip my cap to our pitching guys and our performance group,” Rhymes said. “They did a really terrific job. But at the end of the day, this is a really talented guy who had a lot of initiative. It could not have gone any better.”
— Catcher Diego Cartaya‘s season likely ended in mid July. Bothered by a high hamstring injury and lower back stiffness, the 19-year-old was shut down after 31 games with Low-A Rancho Cucamonga and is not expected to play again this season. Cartaya will instead report to instructional camp in Arizona and participate in some specialized performance camps. Cartaya hit .298 with 10 home runs, 31 RBIs and a 1.023 OPS for Rancho Cucamonga.