Name: Boomer Biegalski
Height/Weight: 6’2’’, 165
How Acquired: Selected in the 14th round of the 2015 draft
The Oakland A’s went above slot to sign their 14th-round pick in the 2015 draft, right-hander Boomer Biegalski. It didn’t take long to see why the A’s were willing to give Biegalski $300,000 to turn pro. The Florida State alum impressed the A’s minor league coaching staff and front office with his off-speed arsenal and the 21-year-old looks well positioned to move up the prospect ranks in 2016.
Biegalski was a draft-eligible sophomore this season. The Florida native turned 21 on July 13, making him eligible for the draft despite having two years of collegiate eligibility remaining. That made Biegalski a tougher sign than most college picks in the 14th round, but the A’s were able to bring him into the system with an above-average bonus. Biegalski signed late in the draft signing period, so he was limited to just 11.1 innings of pro ball during the regular season. He got plenty of work during the A’s fall Instructional League, however, and already has shown signs of being able to make adjustments.
Boomer Biegalski 2015 stats
Despite not possessing an overpowering fastball, Biegalski put up impressive numbers in college thanks to his impressive change-up and fastball command. He spent his freshman year at College of Central Florida – a junior college – and Biegalski posted a 2.86 ERA and 116 strike-outs in 110 innings for the Patriots. That season drew the attention of the Florida State Seminoles, and Biegalski joined the FSU staff for the 2015 season.
Although he was in his first year at a four-year school, Biegalski quickly established himself as the Seminoles’ top starter this season. He had a 3.17 ERA and 120 strike-outs in 108 innings for FSU and was the team’s Friday night starter for much of the season. Biegalski was the ACC Tournament MVP, allowing just five hits in 11 innings pitched in that tournament.
Once Biegalski signed with Oakland, he reported to Arizona, where he would remain for the rest of the summer. There was no question that his stuff was good enough to compete in the New York-Penn League, but the A’s had already sent so many pitchers to Vermont that Biegalski had a better opportunity for regular innings in Arizona. He allowed eight hits in 11.1 innings with 12 strike-outs and two walks with the AZL A’s.
During the A’s fall Instructs, Biegalski was one of the top pitchers in camp. He showed significant improvement with his fastball command and with the consistency of his curveball. Biegalski’s change-up continued to be an out-pitch throughout the camp.
Boomer Biegalski Scouting Video (video by Kimberly Contreras)
Biegalski’s fastball rarely tops 90, but he commands it well and it is a pitch he can spot to both sides of the plate. He has one of the best change-ups in the A’s system and an improving breaking ball that has shown flashes of being a plus pitch at times. Biegalski has the height of a starter but he also has a very thin frame, so it remains to be seen how his body will handle 200 innings. He did add good weight during the Arizona Rookie League season as he adopted the A’s nutritional and strength programs, which is a good sign for his future development as a starter. If his body doesn’t hold up as a starter, Biegalski could be an effective reliever in the Tyler Clippard/ Luke Gregerson mold. Biegalski has a high pitching IQ and looks to be coachable.
“To me, he’s like a sleeper,” former A’s minor league pitching coordinator Garvin Alston said after Instructs. “He is a guy who throws tons and tons of strikes. That change-up makes it seem like he throws with more velocity. I would put a grade of 6 [on the scouting scale] on his change-up. It’s so good, it allows his fastball to play up two or three more clicks. To me, just watching the way he works, when his fastball location is on, he is extremely difficult to hit. Guys do not see him well. He has a little bit of deception with his delivery.”
Oakland A’s Assistant General Manager Billy Owens compared Biegalski to a former A’s right-hander who found success as both a starter and a reliever in the big leagues.
“He has always been a strong pitcher. He had a lot of success on the amateur side,” Owens said of Biegalski. “Not on the same magnitude – and this is just a comparison – but he is somewhat similar to a Justin Duchscherer, where it is more about pitchability than pure stuff. But the feel to pitch is definitely there. The acumen is there. He has always been a winner. We are excited to get him into the system and we’ll see where it goes.”
Although Biegalski pitched only in the Arizona Rookie League this season, he should jump up to full-season ball at the start of the 2016 season. He is likely to begin the year with Low-A Beloit, but Biegalski could jump to High-A Stockton depending on how the A’s spread out their young starters.