Beavan ready for Clinton challenge

Blake Beavan, the Rangers' top pick in the 2007 MLB Draft, is set to make his professional debut, as he was assigned to Single-A Clinton on Thursday afternoon. Lone Star Dugout caught up with the prospect shortly after the announcement was made.

The Texas Rangers assigned Blake Beavan, the 17th overall pick in the 2007 MLB Draft, to Single-A Clinton on Thursday afternoon.

With the assignment, Beavan becomes the first of the Rangers' three high school first-round draft picks last summer – including Michael Main and Neil Ramirez – to join a team this year.

Beavan expects to arrive in Clinton within the next couple of days, but he is not sure when he will be making his first appearance.

"Hopefully it will be this weekend," said Beavan, "but I don't know yet. I will have to find out when I get up there."

Since spring training came to a conclusion nearly one month ago, Beavan has been pitching for the Rangers' extended spring training club in Arizona. The hurler says he has been on a regular starting schedule.

"I have pretty much pitched every five days in extended this whole time," he said. "I'll go two innings, three innings and I've gone up to four innings."

Beavan impressed the Rangers both on and off the field with a strong showing during fall instructs. After what he considered to be a solid spring training, the right-hander enters his first professional season with optimism.

"I worked on a lot of stuff," replied Beavan. "I worked on my changeup, getting command of my fastball, and attacking hitters by throwing lots of fastballs and throwing them for strikes. That is what they like to see out there. Not throwing a lot of breaking stuff and trying to put guys away all the time. They like to see ground balls and they like to see outs. I think for the most part in spring training, I had a pretty good first year."

The 19-year-old is somewhat of a rarity in that he will make his professional debut at a full-season level despite being just one year removed from high school. Beavan realizes the upcoming season will bring its share of ups-and-downs and he hopes to learn from them.

"I think my main goal is just to take this first year and learn through the good experiences and the bad experiences," he said. "Pitching against other guys and pitching in other cities will be good just to see how I handle things and certain situations."

Being just one of the aforementioned trio of outstanding high school arms, Beavan says he expects Ramirez and Main to join him later in the year.

"I don't know for sure if Neil is going to Clinton," Beavan said, "but in my opinion, I think Neil will make it to Clinton sometime this year along with Michael Main. I know Main will definitely be getting there and I think Neil will if he keeps pitching well and keeps working hard."

If all three pitchers make it to Clinton this season, the L-Kings pitching staff would feature five of the system's top 20 prospects. Beavan is quick to share his excitement about being a member of such a talented pitching staff.

"I think Clinton is going to be shooting for the playoffs this year," he said, "and I think we are going to bring a pretty good stuff along with the staff that has already been down there."

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