The Los Angeles Dodgers have promoted Clayton Beeter to the Tulsa Drillers. Beeter is the Dodgers 9th ranked prospect and is known for his incredible two-pitch mix which consists of a fastball and curveball. A 70-grade fastball with plus-plus life when he locates it to the top of the zone and a curveball that the Dodgers saw as the best breaking ball in the 2020 draft class. Beeter is a control over command pitcher. His high vertical arm angle helps give his fastball a rising effect which has no problem overpowering hitters. His fastball consistently sits in the mid-90s but Beeter can get it up to 98 mph. Beeter generates great downhill movement which helps him not only become a deceptive pitcher but helps his fastball jump at hitters.
Clayton Beeter's 4 Ks from his 3.0 IP of 1 run ball in his AA Tulsa debut. All 4 Ks were on sliders (86-88), and I tacked on a curve (79-82 tonight) and a changeup (83) to get a look at the other secondaries. The fastball was 94-97 t98 ⛽️ pic.twitter.com/eFualO66yx
— Josh Thomas (@jokeylocomotive) August 22, 2021
It may be hard to believe with a 70-grade fastball but Beeter’s curveball may be his best pitch. The curveball has a tight break with plus spin (2800-3000 rpm and -11 inches of drop) that makes it an effective out pitch. Beeter gets the curveball to act somewhat like a slider when he throws it harder and is trying to bury it when ahead in the count. Beeter seems to have a tendency to take a little off the curveball early in the count but can easily speed it back up when ahead.
Beeter has pitched 37.1 innings in 2021 posting a 3.13 ERA, 36.4 K%, 9.9 BB%, 3.29 FIP, and a 1.15 WHIP. Beeter did not become a pitcher until his junior year in high school and fully dedicated himself to the mound once he committed to Texas Tech University. With a small sample size and his past medical history, it makes sense the Dodgers have put Beeter on a strict pitch limit and have handled him in a conservative manner. Beeter did not pitch past the first inning until he made his ninth start and did not pitch two consecutive innings until June 19, 2021. In August, Beeter has built his arm up enough to last at least three innings. With Beeter’s arm regaining its’ strength the Dodgers felt it was time for a promotion. Right now the Dodgers want to see Beeter continue to build his arm up and extend his outings with the Drillers.
Clayton Beeter's career high 6 Ks, he allowed 1 run on 2 hits with 0 walks in his 2.2 IP today pic.twitter.com/WyIctmzJcX
— Josh Thomas (@jokeylocomotive) August 15, 2021
Beeter will need to continue to focus on consistency with his mechanics and perfecting his changeup movement moving forward. Not having a reliable third pitch can be what stops Beeter from working through a lineup for the third time. Beeter has a strong and confinement feel for his stuff and developing his changeup to display more movement will only help. Beeter’s changeup does show great sinking action paired with good arm-side fade when he does throw it. The pitch has shown it has potential but it is currently in the works. The Dodgers have also expressed they like the tempo Beeter works with and his ability to execute his stuff according to the game plan. It looks like Beeter will continue to be built up as a starter with the Drillers but his changeup progression could dictate his future role. Beeter is in the early stages of his development so it is a good idea for the organization to take the more traditional route of developing him as a starting pitcher. From the small sample size Beeter has provided he looks like he would have no problem thriving in a stretch reliever role if it came to that. For right now Beeter will continue his development