Probably the most hyped high school pitching prospect to come along
probably since Todd Van Poppel, this 19-year-old is already a legend in
Having been compared to other Lone-Star greats like Roger Clemens and
Nolan Ryan, Beckett was the number two overall selection in the 1999
draft, with only the question of his signability keeping him from being
the number one pick. He eventually signed a four-year, $7 million major
league contract with the Marlins just days before he was to start college.
At 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, this right-hander uses an upper-90s
fastball and a very good curve as his top two pitches while working on a
changeup. Add in the confidence he shows on the mound and you have all the
ingredients for someone who could wind up being one of the best pitchers
in baseball eventually, and that may not be too far down the road.
He debuted at Class-A Kane County, where he was as dominant as
advertised in his first two pro starts (0-0. 1.00 ERA, 9 IP, 6 H, 4 BB,and
12 SO) before tendinitis set in, which has him on the shelf for now. I
don't think this is anything major, as it appears it was caused by his
just getting used to the weightlifting, etc., which he is now doing that
he has not done in the past.
Beckett is someone who should move quickly, I think you could see him
at Double-A by season's end and possibly in Florida by late 2001. He has
the look of a future all-star.