Clark Beeker, 24, Cedar Rapids/Fort Myers
A 33rd round selection out of Davidson College in 2016, Beeker pitched mostly out of the bullpen in 2016 after having thrown a ton of innings in college, but he really anchored the Cedar Rapids rotation all season long, going a combined 12-4 over 143 2/3 innings, with a 2.63 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 23/93 BB/K ratio. Beeker was the only pitcher in the entire system to complete multiple games, and both of his complete games were shutouts.
Beeker’s not a guy who will likely blow away the radar guns or flashes any double-plus offspeed pitches, but he has excellent control and seems to get tremendous movement on every single thing he throws, not allowing hitters to ever hit a ball squarely. However, when he does struggle, it’s because he attempts to nibble, and he tends to lose movement when he gets to the point of where he’s “aiming” the ball, as was seen in his 3 starts with Fort Myers at the end of the season.
This was the most difficult decision of any of the spots on this team between Aaron Slegers and Beeker as both had tremendous seasons, but Beeker’s overall performance was a hair better in peripheral numbers, which gave him the nod.
Others of note: Aaron Slegers, Rochester/Minnesota; Michael Montero,
17, DSL; Carlos Suniaga, 20, GCL/Elizabethton; Brusdar Graterol, 18, GCL/Elizabethton; Griffin Jax, 22, Elizabethton/Cedar Rapids; Cody Shashak, GCL/Fort Myers/Chattanooga, Tim Melville, 27, Rochester; Tyler Wells, 22, GCL/Cedar Rapids; Sean Poppen, 23, Cedar Rapids/Fort Myers;
Dereck Rodriguez, 25, Fort Myers/Chattanooga; Zack Littell, 21, Chattanooga; Luis Gil, 19, DSL; Andriu Marin, 18, DSL; Felix Jorge, 23,
Chattanooga/Rochester/Minnesota; Fernando Romero, 23, Chattanooga; Randy LeBlanc, 25, Fort Myers/Chattanooga
Plenty of names here, some prospects, some not so much. Graterol was one that really gained a ton of note over the season. Wells had a monster season going before he got hurt, and that’s one guy to watch in 2018. Littell will also likely get a lot of notice for national ‘pitcher of the year” teams with his 19-1 record on the season combined, but he only made a handful of starts for the Twins organization.
Next: Left-Handed Starter