The Arizona Diamondbacks lost a stud in Zack Greinke, but they made up for it by getting a plethora of young talent headlined by Seth Beer. Beer entered the year as MLB Pipeline’s 100th prospect and should have a bright future in the majors. Despite making his minor league debut in 2018, the young lefty has already made it all the way up to the AA level.
Scouting Report: Seth Beer
If you watched Beer in batting practice, you’d think he’s a top-30 prospect. The Clemson product has ridiculous raw power, as Fangraphs gives him a 70 mark on the 20-80 grading scale. That power hasn’t completely translated into the games, but he’s still capable of changing the game with a swing of the bat. Beer currently has a .543 slugging percentage with 16 home runs in 280 plate appearances with the AA Corpus Christi Hooks.
Beer is more than just a power hitter, as he’s capable of spreading the ball all over the field and can take what the pitchers give him. So far in AA, Beer has a .299 batting average and a .407 on-base percentage. He draws walks at an 8.6% rate while striking out in 20.7% of his at-bats. He’s relatively young for AA, yet still manages to play at a high level against older competition.
This isn’t a one-season fluke either. Throughout the course of his minor league career, Beer owns an impressive .309/.410/.564 slash line and a corresponding 170 wRC+ in 432 plate appearances. While these numbers are somewhat inflated by an unsustainably-high .343 BABIP, he’s proven to be one of the best hitters on the minor league circuit.
The Less Than Ideal
Seth Beer is a good prospect, but he’s not perfect. Beer is fantastic with a bat, but he’s something of a liability everywhere else. Fangraphs and MLB Pipeline both give him a 20 grade for speed, meaning he’s one of the slowest players in all of baseball. He’ll never be the type of guy who can leg out an extra base or a single or challenge an outfielder on a sacrifice fly.
This lack of speed limits his positional versatility. Beer is currently listed as a first baseman and an outfielder, but he probably won’t stick in the outfield. If he does, it was only be as a defensively-challenged left fielder. He obviously doesn’t possess ideal range and he doesn’t have the arm to make up for his lack of speed. This basically forces him to be a first baseman at the major league level, and that position doesn’t have much defensive value.
Beer might not be the most well-rounded player in the world, but he brings a fantastic bat with strong power and a solid hit tool. If he can ever tap into his raw power, he could hit over 35 home runs on an annual basis. However, even if he doesn’t, he still has what it takes to be Arizona’s first baseman of the future.
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