Chicago Cubs rookie right-hander Dallas Beeler made his major league debut on Saturday. It went quite well: six innings against the Washington Nationals, one unearned run, four hits, three walks, six strikeouts. So where did this guy come from?
I had him rated as a Grade C pre-season with the following book comment:
A finger injury limited Dallas Beeler to nine starts in Double-A last year, but he returned late in the year and pitched effectively enough in the Arizona Fall League to earn a spot on the 40-man roster. Beeler was a 41st round pick out of Oral Roberts in 2010, although he could have gone 30 rounds higher than that if not for Tommy John surgery. He has a low-90s sinking fastball which gave him a 3.67 GO/AO last season, mixing in a curveball and changeup. His strikeout rate is weak but in theory the grounders help compensate for that. I can see him becoming a solid relief pitcher, but if you want to dream there’s some chance that he can be a Scott Feldman-type inning eater. Grade C.
Beeler threw 87-92 MPH with his fastball yesterday, averaging 90. He added a cutter in the Arizona Fall League last year which I didn't have in the pre-season report but is now a key pitch for him to go with the curve. The changeup is more of a forkball/splitter type pitch than a traditional straight-change.
The low strikeout rate I mentioned in the book is higher this year, his K/IP moving up to 6.41 at Iowa compared to 5.11 in his two seasons at Double-A at Tennessee. He still gets tons of grounders, but the changes with his secondary pitches seem to have added additional Ks to the profile, which is a good thing and increases the chance that he could be an inning-eater along Feldman lines.