60 yd*: 6.99
OF Throw*: 91 MPH
* Recorded by Perfect Game as prep player
Seth Beer has been on the draft radar for a long time, as he was considered one of the top high school players in the country, usually in the top 5 depending on who was asked, in his 2015 graduating class. As a Freshman, he exceeded the high expectations that came with his prep track record- the outfielder led the Tigers in virtually every offensive category, slashing .369/.535/.700 with 18 home runs, 62 walks and just 27 strikeouts in 203 at-bats. He was also hit by a whopping 15 pitches and contributed 6 outfield assists. After that stellar campaign, Beer was considered an early candidate for 1.1 in 2018 as an explosive offensive player who could hit in the heart of the order.
In 2017, Beer took something of a step back. While most of his peripheral numbers held (he again walked nearly twice as much as he struck out with a 64/35 mark), his batting average dropped to .298 and his K rate did move a bit in the wrong direction. This slight decline in performance, coupled with increased scrutiny of his profile, has pushed his draft projection lower in the first round. MLB.com notes that many scouts are skeptical of Beer’s projection due to his weak track record hitting with wood bats on the showcase circuit and with Team USA. In addition, he showed poorly in the outfield with Clemson in his first two years and cast serious doubt on his ability to play the field as a pro. A poor runner with an average arm, Beer will likely be confined to first base at the next level, and doesn’t project as a strong defender there either.
That said, his offensive profile remains very much intact, and if he can post a season similar to his freshman campaign it’s difficult to imagine him falling out of the first round. He has a quick-trigger swing that isn’t the smoothest you’ll see, but gets to and through the ball in a hurry. While his game will likely have a bit more swing-and-miss to it at the pro level, I have little doubt that he can hit for solid averages in the minors and beyond. His approach is also pro-ready, and an elite skill, and while he’ll be polarizing, players with his combination of offensive skills rarely slide far.
While it will be difficult for Beer to reclaim his top-5 projection, he could do a lot to help himself by taking a step forward in the power department and showing well in workouts with wood bats leading up to draft day.
Projected Draft Round
Barring a backslide, Beer will be selected somewhere in the 20s or 30s overall. With a truly outstanding offensive campaign, he could push himself into back-end top 10 discussion.
Does he fit with Houston?
The Astros have drafted players like Beer before, as he shares some similarities with J.D. Davis, A.J. Reed and Derek Fisher. Should he be on the board for their first selection, I’d expect his name to figure heavily in discussions in the war room.