Brian Johnson and Henry Owens are serving as young depth starters in Triple-A and ready to make an appearance in the majors whenever needed. Both have made big league starts in the past and will surely be used in the future.
Finally, there’s Jason Groome. The 18-year-old is the team’s number two prospect and already one of the most exciting pitching prospects in baseball. That’s even despite an injury slowing him down.
Those are just the some notable left-handed starting pitchers in Beeks’ way. There are plenty more if you add in the righties.
But Beeks seems determined to run right through the road blocks. After a strong 2016, the 23-year-old is baffling hitters in Double-A in 2017.
With the Portland Sea Dogs, Beeks has a 5-1 record through seven starts. He’s already thrown 39 1/3 innings on the year. In that time, he’s posted a 1.60 earned run average and struck out 48 batters. Opponents are hitting just .173 against him and his walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) sits at 1.04.
His ERA, BAA and WHIP are all career-bests.
His numbers are especially encouraging due to what happened last season. After posting a 3.07 ERA in Advanced-A through 67 1/3 innings, Beeks was promoted to Double-A. There, he threw 65 1/3 innings, but posted a 4.68 ERA.
This season has shown that Beeks identified the problem and adjusted to it.
After impressing in limited time during Spring Training, the left-hander is proving he’s truly grown over the offseason.
Another midseason promotion seems to be on the horizon for Jalen Beeks, who might see MLB time this season if he’s not careful.