HT: 6-6 WT: 230 POS: SP
Delmarva Shorebirds- (27 G, 27 GS, 142.1 ip, 4.05 ERA, 106 K, 59 BB, 10 HR, 1.55 GO/AO)
Pedro Beato was a draft and follow candidate for the New York Mets, who took him in the 2005 draft. When they surprised most observers by failing to offer him the bonus he demanded, Beato slipped to the Orioles in the supplemental first round of the 2006 draft and signed for $1,000,000.
Beato's raw stuff is top-of-the-line, though it was inconsistent in his full-season debut. His fastball can touch the mid-90's and sat in the low-90's during most of his starts. It also gets good sink and he throws it on a nice downward plane. His curveball is better than his slider at this point, but both are quality pitches. He also throws a changeup that needs work, but he shows a good feel for it.
The Orioles didn't allow Beato to throw his cutter often and they expect that his numbers will improve as he's allowed to throw it freely in 2008. Beato's main needs are improved command and feel for pitching. He often lacks proper judgement of what pitch to throw and in what count.
Beato is a sturdy and durable innings-eater with more than enough pitches to remain a starter. Despite this, his stuff was inconsistent all year and he seemed to fade as the season wore on. That's not uncommon for a young pitcher's full-season debut, but the Orioles will expect him to maintain his stuff better in 2008. No one doubts his commitment to getting better and he showed a tremendous work ethic coming back from Tommy John Surgery in high school.
Beato will start 2008 in high-A Frederick's rotation and will most likely stay there for most of the year. If the addition of his cutter back to his arsenal has the impact that some in the organization expect, then Beato could force a promotion mid-season. He's likely to make his debut in late 2009 or later.
Michael Hollman is the Senior Writer for Inside The Warehouse and can be reached via e-mail at Publisher@InsideTheWarehouse.com