Even though Dodgers’ Brandon Beachy has faced two Tommy John‘s in his career, he still has a lot of potential to be great in 2016.
To continue on with our player previews of some lesser-known players, Brandon Beachy is the next player I decided to look at. After having a successful career in high school, Beachy headed off to Indiana Wesleyan University where he played third base, first base and pitched for the team.
He was not selected in the draft, but signed with the Atlanta Braves in 2008, his junior year of college. Beachy worked his way through the Braves minors and in June of 2010, he was promoted to AA where he struckout 100 batters, allowed only 55 hits and 22 walks in 27. All the while, he posted an ERA of just 1.47. Juts one month later, Beachy would strikeout 13 of the 19 batters he would face in the game. His hard work earned him a promotion to AAA. Once at AAA, Brandon had an ERA of just 2.17.
The Braves took note of all of his success and called him up to the majors. Beachy made his MLB debut on September 20, 2010. The following year Beachy was named the fifth starter in the rotation for the Braves. In 25 games and 141.2 innings pitched, Brandon posted an ERA of 3.68.
In 2012, Brandon got off to a great starts and even pitched his first career shutout on May 17, 2012 against the Miami Marlins. However, that good luck was about to change. On June 17, 2012 Brandon was placed on the disabled list with discomfort in his elbow. He underwent Tommy John’s surgery shortly after which ended his season.
Beachy started the 2013 on the disabled list, but again joined the team when Tim Hudson broke his ankle in July of the same year. Brandon only had five starts with the team. In those five starts he was 2-1 with an ERA of 4.50. He did not make the Braves post-season roster. Things were about to get even worse for Beachy too. In December he and the Braves agreed to a one year deal for the 2014 season, but on March 20 of 2014 it was reported again that Brandon would have another Tommy John.
Anyone who knows anything about baseball, knows that recovering from Tommy John surgery and trying to come back a good pitcher is a challenge, now Brandon will have to face the long recovery time yet again and hope he could get back to his old numbers.
Beachy became a free agent following the 2014 season and agreed on a one year deal with a one year option with the Dodgers in February of 2015. He returned to the mound for the first time since his second Tommy John surgery on June 16, 2015 and pitched 35 pitches for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, the Dodgers A affiliate. He then got moved up to AAA in Oklahoma for a few games. July 11, 2015 the Dodgers called him up and he pitched in his fist major league game for the first time in two years. In two games with the Dodgers he posted a 7.88 ERA and was again sent down to AAA. After heading back to AAA he got his ERA down to 3.64 in ten starts with the team.
This January the Dodgers again agreed to a one year deal for $1.5 million and Beachy was outrighted to the minors.
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His baseball numbers might not be the most impressive, however I think Brandon Beachy has the potential to be a dark horse for the team. He really has not settled into a rhythm since his last Tommy John’s surgery. He has bounced around from the minors to the majors. I think with some steady time in one place Brandon will greatly improve. Repetition and pitching consistently will help him get back to the guy he used to be and lower his ERA. It is always so unpredictable to how a players arm will respond after Tommy John’s, but with a lot of hard work it is possible for him to become a great starting pitcher.
Even though he has a storied past of injuries, Brandon is only 29 years old and essentially has his baseball career ahead of him still. Brandon also throws four different pitches. A four-seam fastball that has been clocked between 90-94 MPH, a slider that is around 80-84 MPH, a change-up around 78-82 MPH and a curve ball that has been clocked between 71-75 MPH. His velocity can change from 94 MPH to just 71 MPH in two different pitches. His ability to comfortable throw four different pitches is a huge advantage.
Even though Brandon Beachy has suffered through two major injuries in his short career, he still has a lot of untapped potential and the ability to be a dark horse for the Dodgers. With some repetition on the mound and mastering his pitches, Brandon Beachy could go from an underrated player to a star.