Astros: Seth Beer advancing quickly through minor leagues
Houston Astros prospect Seth Beer is ascending quickly through the organization thanks to some impressive hitting.
Is this the case of the rich getting richer? Astros 2018 first-round draft pick Seth Beer is chugging along (no pun intended) and continues to advance through the minor league system. One year after being drafted, he already finds himself having success at the Double-A level.
Currently ranked as the team’s No. 9 prospect, he’s hitting at every stop and finds himself on track to be major league ready at some point in 2020. This is, of course, great news for the Astros, but it could bring up a bit of a conundrum.
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Beer managed to get in 67 games across three Class-A stops in 2018 and hit a cumulative .304/.389/.496. He started 2019 in Class-A advanced and mastered it, hitting .328/.414/.602 before getting the call to Corpus Christi.
In his first 24 games at Double-A, he’s hitting .291/.408/.477 with four homers and 20 RBIs. He’s striking out a bit too much, punching out 55 times in 59 total games this season. Defensively, he’s splitting time between first base and left field, though he’s probably better suited as a DH. This leads to the quandary the Astros may find themselves in when Beer is ready for the majors.
The Astros already have a young lefthanded slugger who is best suited as a DH in Yordan Alvarez. Once Beer is ready, the team will have to find a home for one of them somewhere on the field.
The MLB.com scouting report notes that Beer could become an adequate first baseman, though he’s unlikely to be a decent left fielder due to lack of range and arm strength. The Astros seem to think Alvarez would be better in left field than at first base, though many scouts think he’ll end up at first as well.
If either of them can become an everyday first baseman, the other could become the primary DH, since neither appears set to become a particularly good outfielder. This outcome may be best anyway, considering the Astros have depth in the outfield with Kyle Tucker still waiting in the wings and playing well at Round Rock.
Plus, with Yuli Gurriel now 35 and sporting a .289 on-base percentage, the Astros could use a long-term answer at first base. It seems like they are indeed trying to groom Beer to be that answer, as he’s started 37 games at first base this year, compared to 16 in the outfield.
Hopefully one of these young sluggers will end up taking the reins and handling first base duties for the foreseeable future. With both of their bats in the lineup, the Houston offense could continue to be scary for years to come.
***Statistics courtesy of MiLB.com and Baseball-Reference***