The annual Rule 5 Draft takes place this Thursday morning at 11 am CT. The Kansas City Royals hold the 2nd pick of the draft, just like they will during the amateur draft next June. With that being said, we’ll be doing as much Rule 5 coverage as possible this week here at Royals Farm. For your first stop, here’s a look at a guy that I think the Royals will potentially be looking at if he’s available at #2.
Jairo Beras is a 6′ 6″ 23-year old from the Texas Rangers organization that I accidentally stumbled upon last week, before I ever started digging into some of the Rule 5 eligible guys.
So there ya go. Jairo Beras is basically the same hitter as Nick Pratto…sort of. So, when you have a guy like that, you have to take him…
AS A PITCHER.
No, really, Beras is a pitcher now, and I think the Royals could be in a perfect position to give him a long look in the big leagues. Beras started pitching professionally in 2017 on account of the fact that he can throw a baseball 100 mph. Seems like a pretty good reason to let a guy pitch if you ask me.
Here is Baseball America‘s write up on the 23-year old RHP:
“Beras converted from the outfield to the pitching mound and immediately showed exceptional arm speed. He’s touched 100 mph and in his better outings he’ll sit 95-98. His velocity does vary from outing to outing, but he showed surprisingly impressive feel for someone so new to the mound and he struck out 12.5 per nine innings in 54 innings with high Class A Down East while holding opponents to a .180 average.”
One issue with taking Beras would be the jump from High-A to the major leagues. His ERA in the Carolina League last year was 4.33, but he struck out an impressive 75 batters in only 54 IP, while walking only 26. Let me reiterate. Jairo Beras is 6’ 6″, only 23 years old, and throws 100 mph. He is the perfect candidate for the Royals to take in the Rule 5 Draft, stash in the bullpen, and try to coach him up to be an effective late-inning reliever.
One thing that Beras has going for him is that he’s still in his first calendar year of focusing solely on pitching. 2018 was his first year as a full-time pitcher, and this will be just his second off-season to reign in on his command and off-speed pitches.
The Royals have a few key things going for them to take on a project like this:
- They are rebuilding. They can afford to pitch Beras sparingly and let him be bad when he does pitch. They don’t need him to have immediate success, or pitch often. This is necessary for projects like Beras.
- The Royals have a ton of guys that can eat up multiple innings in the event that the Beras project doesn’t work out early on. Guys like Brian Flynn, Heath Fillmyer, Jorge Lopez, Eric Skoglund, Glenn Sparkman, Trevor Oaks, etc., are all guys that have started in the past and can throw multiple innings in relief if Beras was to have an outing in which he didn’t record an out, or something.
- The Royals have done this before, recently. The Royals had all kinds of success with Brad Keller in 2018 and, even though Burch Smith struggled, they were able to get him through the season and the Royals can now move Smith to the minors to continue to get better. If the Royals can get by with Beras in 2019, they could send him back to Omaha in 2020 if they felt like he needed more seasoning.
- The Royals can afford to roster 13 pitchers for the entire 2019 campaign. The Royals current crop of position players are all in dire need of regular at-bats, so having a bench of Goodwin, Owings, and Gallagher would allow the Royals to carry 13 pitchers pretty much all year. Having players like Hunter Dozier and Whit Merrifield in the every day lineup who can play the OF if necessary are valuable too.
So, yeah. At #2 overall, Jairo Beras might be my number one target. He or Richie Martin, who we’ll try to get written up later on Wednesday. Here’s some stuff to make you want Beras too.
Photo Credits: LA PRENSA/CORTESÍA