Before a shoulder injury knocked him out for the season, Jesse Beal was in the midst of a phenomenal 2010 where he kept the ball on the ground and in the park, all while displaying outstanding command and control.
The same injury would keep him out for all of 2011 as well.
Don: One of the strong points to make about Jesse Beal is that for his size his pitching style is more location driven and less power pitching.
Even though he was throwing in the upper 80s his game was about commanding the fastball. He has a strong ability to hit his spots for strikes and that allows for his other pitches to play off of the fastball.
Sometime this summer might be the closest to 100% health Beal has seen as a professional. He took the necessary steps in a rehabilitation program, so he should be well along the way in his throwing program.
With a healthy shoulder and maturation he can meet the expectations that many had of him coming out of high school. He should eventually have a low to mid 90s fastball along with a tight hammer. He has a developing change up.
Beal will be coming back slowly, and realistically will stay in extended spring training after camp breaks. This season is a building block and will be about maintaining a healthy arm throughout the year.
The Orioles could start him off in relief and slowly transition him back to being a starter in short season ball. The Orioles will need to read each of Beal’s outings and then decide what to do with him. Working Beal back to form and preserving the shoulder should be everyone’s main priority in 2012.