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Arizona Fall League

Slugging prospect Beer using AFL to up defense

@JimCallisMLB
October 4, 2019

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The D-backs targeted Seth Beer's bat when they shipped Zack Greinke to the Astros at the Trade Deadline in July. He didn't produce up to his usual lofty standards in the final month of the Minor League season, but he's showing why Arizona coveted him in the

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The D-backs targeted Seth Beer's bat when they shipped Zack Greinke to the Astros at the Trade Deadline in July. He didn't produce up to his usual lofty standards in the final month of the Minor League season, but he's showing why Arizona coveted him in the Arizona Fall League.

The 28th overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, Beer batted .321/.489/.648 with 56 homers in 188 games during three years at Clemson. He hit .307/.401/.535 with 37 homers in 165 games during his time in the Astros' system. After batting an uncharacteristic .205/.297/.318 in Double-A after the trade, he's raking at a .375/.429/.531 clip in the AFL.

Beer reached base four times Friday afternoon to help the Salt River Rafters erase an 8-0 deficit and storm back for a 10-9 victory over the Peoria Javelinas. He singled in a run during a two-run third inning, was hit by a pitch to keep a four-run rally going in the fourth and drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with a two-RBI single in a four-run sixth.

Ranked No. 96 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list, Beer said he appreciates the opportunity to face quality pitching in the Fall League. He's also cognizant of the need to improve his defense.

Primarily an outfielder in college, the 23-year-old Beer lacks speed and has fringy arm strength. He played mostly first base in 2019 and has seen all of his AFL action there.

"One of the big things for me is to get as defensively ready as I can playing first base, feel comfortable each and every day just a little bit more," he said. "I'm just enjoying it. ... I feel like I've made huge strides the last couple of weeks and I'm excited to see how I feel toward the end of the year here."

Beer's play at first base is still a work in progress. He has committed three errors in eight games with Salt River and failed to come up with a couple of plays against the Javelinas that were scored as hits.

While Beer needs to get better with the glove, it will be his bat that will carry him to the big leagues. The Diamondbacks could use some more left-handed power and he should be able to provide some in the near future. He has had no trouble doing damage with wood bats in pro ball after scuffling with them during two stints with the U.S. collegiate national team.

Beer said changing organizations during his first full season as a pro came as a surprise, but he took it as an honor to get traded for Greinke, who he views as a future Hall of Famer.

"It was a little overwhelming at first," Beer said. "I think as a whole, it's a huge blessing and a huge opportunity for me as a ballplayer and also for the other three guys that came over with me. We're all just super excited to be part of this organization."

The Rafters had several offensive heroes in their comeback. Third baseman Royce Lewis (Twins), the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 Draft, had three hits to boost his season line to .361/.400/.722. Center fielder Victor Victor Mesa (Marlins) had two hits and scored three runs to improve to .409/.462/.455, and left fielder Josh Lowe (Rays) slammed a 388-foot homer to jump to .343/.395/.571.

Peoria catcher Colton Shaver (Astros) came into the game with just three singles in 18 at-bats, but he delivered three extra-base hits (two doubles and a triple). Javelinas third baseman Joe Rizzo (Mariners) had the most impressive blast of the day, a fifth-inning homer well above the batting eye that sits 410 feet from home plate.

Salt River improved to 9-4 with the victory, tying for the best mark in the Fall League and stretching its lead in the East Division to 2 1/2 games over the Mesa Solar Sox and Scottsdale Scorpions. Peoria dropped to 7-6, two games behind the Surprise Saguaros in the West.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.