The New York Yankees employ an arm in Double-A Somerset, that can be extremely propitious towards the future of the 40-man roster — with the future being sooner than later. Right-handed pitcher Clayton Beeter ranks ninth among the Yankees top 30 prospects for 2023.
The 24-year-old out of Texas Tech University was selected in the second round (66th overall) in the 2020 MLB amateur draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. In August of 2022, Joey Gallo was shipped out of the Bronx at the trade deadline and sent to LA in return for Beeter. At this time, Yankees nation was relieved of the departure of Gallo, paying only partial attention to what was exchanged. Beeter left the Tulsa Drillers (Double-A) with a ghastly 5.75 ERA, but slightly changed some emotions of evaluators with a short 25.1 innings in the Yankees organization to end 2022.
Can Beeter flourish with New York? Can we expect to see this arm in the big leagues soon?
Yankees: Clayton Beeter’s makeup, analysis, and estimated time of arrival to MLB
My evaluation style always puts the makeup and raw tools before advanced metrics and statistics. As a pitcher, the numbers and metrics paint a more accurate picture of projectability (most of the time). For an arm like Clayton Beeter, his physical analysis and tools outweigh what the numbers have said so far, good or bad.
Beeter’s collective college showcase earned him serious recognition among MLB teams. Additionally, let’s keep in mind he went under the knife for Tommy John surgery in 2017 to start his college career but didn’t get any starting opportunities until his final year at Texas Tech. Beeter was exclusively a reliever with evident closer attributes.
Fast forward to 2022, and between the Dodgers and Yankees organizations, Beeter started 23 games, throwing 77 innings. Obviously, there’s a willingness to test him in starting or mid-relief roles, as he hasn’t saved a game since 2019. Nonetheless, Beeter has strong potential to work any of these two roles in the Yankees organization.
He stands 6-foot-2, 220 pounds and is built very strong with an athletic frame and explosive movement. He delivers with a high-kick windup, repeated and consistent, releasing mostly over the top, with a mix of three-quarter delivery. Beeter can flash above-average fastball heat, but his value lies in the movement and spin of his pitches.
Other than the fastball, he offers a curveball, changeup, and an occasional slider. His fastball sits between 94-96 MPH, maxing at 98 MPH with good run. Fastball command is his area of improvement; the movement of the fastball can enter and exit the zone quickly, but it’s a good pitch to induce chases. His mid-80s curveball can work 12-6, breaking inside and down to righties, working low the majority of the time. He throws a changeup that works below the knees and dies low out of the hitter’s reach. His slider has been absent for some time, though. It would be a good option for the pitching arsenal later on when the repertoire is polished.
Although his fastball command is needs improvement, Beeter attacks the zone and pushes for the strikeout as he works to stay ahead in the counts.
In 2022, Beeter finished with a not-so-beautiful 4.56 ERA and 1.43 WHIP, but stood out with 129 strikeouts against 46 walks in 77 innings pitched. If he has a successful start to the 2023 season, there’s a chance we get close to seeing him at Yankee Stadium.
It’s my belief that the Yankees will allow him to start more while monitoring his innings and pitch counts. This arm is one of the more interesting profiles to keep track of come spring training. If all works out, Beeter could be a key piece to assist the Yankees bullpen, a unit that will undoubtedly need help as the year progresses.