Jalen Beeks will make his debut on Thursday
The Pomeranz injury gives Beeks opportunity to complete lifelong dream.
Feature image: Mar 1, 2017; Sarasota, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher Jalen Beeks (52) throws a pitch during the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Thursday’s finale against the Detroit Tigers will be an exciting one. Minor leaguer Jalen Beeks will make his debut for the Red Sox against Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd. After Drew Pomeranz was placed on the DL with bicep tendinitis, manager Alex Cora confirmed that Beeks would be starting on Thursday against Detroit.
Beeks,24, was drafted as the 342nd pick of the 12th round by the Red Sox in the 2014 MLB draft. The 24-year-old from Fayetteville, Arkansas began his career as a ground ball pitcher but has transformed himself from a ground ball pitcher to a strikeout pitcher. Beek’s ability to change his approach to the game has granted him an opportunity to prove himself at the highest level.
Beeks featured a two-seam fastball, slider, and changeup and would focus on pitching to contact when he was drafted. Pitching coach of the Single-A Greenville Drive, Walter Miranda, suggested Beeks to use a rising four-seam fastball in 2015. In 2016 Beeks added a curveball to his repertoire. His 2017 campaign would have Beeks utilize his curveball while learning to throw a cutter in favor of his slider.
Since changing his approach, Jalen has seen a season to season improvement, which has opened the door for Beeks to prove himself on the big stage. When he began adjusting his repertoire in 2015, his ERA was 4.32 with a 6.2 K/9. Jalen Beeks held a .272 opposing batting average. In 2016, he spent time between High A and Double-A. Jalen sported a 3,87 ERA and raised his K/9 to 7.5. His opposing batting average nearly stayed the same at .271. Beeks saw real improvement between last season and this season. In 2017 he continued his ascension through the minors as he spent time between Double-A and Triple-A where his ERA dropped to 3.29 and his K/9 improved to 9.6. His opposing batting average dropped to .241; this year he reached Triple-A with a 2.56 ERA, 12.8 K/9, and a .197 opposing batting average.
In Jalen’s last start he went seven strong innings, only giving up four hits, one earned run while picking up seven strikeouts.
Beeks rise to stardom is somewhat of a feel-good story. His transformation from his college days showed that he is mature enough to check his ego at the door in order to set himself up for success. His debut will come on the fourth anniversary of when the Red Sox drafted him.