Generally a pitcher is never as good as he looks on his best days nor as poor as he looks in his worst outings. That being said, Pedro Beato looked outstanding Saturday night. He faced five batters in 1.2 IP and did not allow a ball out of the infield, as he got four groundball outs and a strikeout and looked in complete command.
The outing made me wonder: Is Beato the Mets’ future closer?
People prefer closers to be hard throwers and Beato can bring the heat, as his average fastball velocity is 93.9 mph according to TexasLeaguers.com. But he is by no means a one-trick pony, as Beato also throws a sinker, slider and curve. He is very consistent with his release point (see below) and he throws any of his pitches at any time in the count.
In that way, he’s similar to another Rule 5 pick, closer Joakim Soria. Two days after he was selected in the Rule 5 Draft, Soria pitched a no-hitter in Winter Ball. While most closers have one or two pitches, Soria has a starter’s repertoire and we see some of that same thing from Beato, who was a starter until the 2010 season.
The comparison falls apart when we look at strikeout rate. Despite struggling this year, Soria has a lifetime 9.67 K/9 while Beato checks in with a 5.30 K/9.
But the results this year from Beato have been nothing short of amazing. He’s yet to give up an earned run in 18.2 IP and he has an impressive 3.67 K/BB ratio, a number even more special when you consider his strikeout rate is at best ordinary. Additionally, he has yet to allow an inherited runner to score, although Terry Collins has done his best to protect him from those situations, as he has inherited just two runners this year.
Of course, any pitcher with a 0.00 ERA is outperforming his peripherals and Beato has a 3.38 xFIP, which is still a solid number. There’s also the matter of the four unearned runs he’s allowed. His RA of 1.93 is still very impressive, if not the all zeroes of his current ERA.
He gets grounders (46.9 GB%) and batters are not squaring up his pitches, as he has just a 14.3 LD%. It all adds up to a wonderful performance from a pitcher that not many knew what to expect from when the season began.
It also leads to the idea that if Francisco Rodriguez does not meet his vesting option that Beato could be an option for closer in 2012. While Jason Isringhausen is the eighth-inning man, he’s also 38-year old and an injury risk. Buchholz would be in the conversation but one would think that his struggles against LHB would keep him from being the team’s closer. Plus, Beato is under team control for years while Buchholz is a free agent following this season.
Right now we get to see Beato being a dominating reliever if the sixth and seventh innings. Just don’t be surprised if he has a much more valuable role on the Mets in 2012. Regardless of his future role, if he finishes the season without imploding, Beato will easily become the most successful Rule 5 pick in team history, a position currently vacant. Click here for a list of the Mets’ Rule 5 picks.