On the Field Player Development

Jairo Beras is figuring it out… and it’s exciting!

I keep getting asked, how does Beras look? There’s no way I can describe what I am seeing in a 140-character tweet. So, I will try here.

Now, I will preface the comments below by reminding the readers that I am not a scout, or even a pretend one. There are a zillion people smarter at seeing and describing the baseball tools they see and give it the proper context than I am. With that said, here is what I see.

The biggest thing I can see over the past 4-6 weeks is the ability to not force himself upon the game, but rather let it come to him. What I mean, he is more willing to “do what the game asks him to do”, as the saying goes.

For July he put up a .326/.369/.471 slash with ten of his 34 hits going for extra bases. It’s how he got there that gives indicators that he is figuring out some things.

In June, I put out a couple of tweets that I expected him to have a big second half.

He’s better suited to avoid sliders low-and-away and if he gets a pitch away (fastball or otherwise) he can handle out there, he will serve it to right. With that said, he is ready to crush inside fastballs with authority.

In his first at bat on Friday, he fouled off a fastball away, then took a fastball just off the plate. The next pitch from Van Orden was a fastball in and down – not a bad pitch, it appeared – that Beras pulled the hands in for muscled it well out to left-center – a no-doubter.

With two quick outs in the sixth on five pitches, Beras took a great approach to what could’ve been a ho-hum at-bat in a no pressure situation. He took a curveball away for a strike, then another that bounced for a ball. A 94 mph fastball off the plate was taken for a 2-1 count and then Beras ignored a back-to-back sliders to bring the count full before taking a fastball just off the plate for a walk. His patience there to take what the game showed him took a banal 1-2-3 inning into a three-run inning that turned out to be huge in the game.

One inning later, Beras slapped a fastball away into a sharply hit 4-1 grounder.

Thursday night’s 4-for-5 night – his lone out was a rocket to first – it was a fastball in for a single, a change away for a single, and in the eighth got enough on a 95 mph heater in to steer it through the hole at short. With two outs in the ninth, he scorched a fastball away for a single.

Plate appearances are no longer given away.

There are still some fits-and-spits in the field on occasion, but for now there is not the harried need to make every play a highlight-reel play. Throws are strong and on target to where they need to be. There’s no longer a rush to try and make a play that’s not there when a runner rounds first on a hit.

It’s cool to see players figure it out. The month of June 2014 for Nomar Mazara, which prompted his promotion to AA, will live in my memory bank for a long time. As good as he was in July, if Beras holds up in the August heat… well.

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