As an underclassman in high school, Pedro Beato was considered a top-tier projectable prep pitcher. In April of 2004, he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery and missed his Junior season. After a strenuous rehabilitation, Beato was back in time for his Senior season, though not at one-hundred percent. He did show enough for the New York Mets to take a flyer on him in the 17th round of the 2005 draft, and they were expected to sign him through the draft and follow process after he came back even stronger in his one year at St. Petersburg Junior College. The MLB front office handed down their slot recommendation of $750,000, a figure which did not meet Beato's demands. And the Mets refused to go above the recommendation, even though they lacked a first round pick in the 2005 draft. The Orioles quickly jumped at the chance to take Beato with their supplemental first round pick when he re-entered the draft in 2006. Interestingly enough, the player they had been targeting all along, shortstop Emmanuel Burriss, fell only one more pick to the San Francisco Giants.
DOB: 10/27/86 Height: 6-5 Weight: 210 B/T: R/R
Pedro Beato's age 19 season:
Although Pedro Beato had a fine debut, it is important to understand that he is still a raw product. He has a four-pitch arsenal that should quell any concerns that he can't stick in a rotation. At this point, his bread and butter is his fastball, which sits at 92-93 MPH but touches 96 MPH. He does a good job of keeping it low in the zone, as evidenced by his strong groundball tendencies, but he'll occasionally let one get away in a hitter's wheelhouse. Beato has an ideal pitcher‘s frame and is very athletic; he even ran a 6.7 second 60-yard dash at a scout day in Florida. His arm action is outstanding and, despite his injury history, it is also relatively clean.
Beato's second offering is a power slider that sits at 84-86 MPH and has true two-plane break, though his command of it is inconsistent. He also offers a curveball that could be a solid offering, but it lacks the upside of his power slider. Beato‘s changeup is a bit hard at this point in his development, but it could be a third plus pitch given enough repetitions. It's progress will be expedited as he finds a consistent three-quarters arm slot. His well-documented work ethic and first-class makeup make it likely that Beato will make these adjustments sooner, rather than later.
The Orioles worked Beato into Aberdeen's rotation slowly, starting him out as a reliever. Although he worked 136 innings in total this year, he actually got stronger as the season went on. The Orioles are extremely encouraged with Beato's development but will only bump him up one level to Low-A Delmarva in his full-season debut. Beato has missed some development time because of his injury history and it should only be matter of time before everything clicks for him. It wouldn't surprise anyone if he took the South Atlantic League by storm and was ready for the high minors by this time next year. Beato has true front-of-the-rotation potential and could rank among the game's top prospects with a bit more experience.
Michael Hollman is the Senior Writer for Inside The Warehouse and can be reached via email at Publisher@InsideTheWarehouse.com