Evan Beal- A tall 6’4 right hander out of Virginia has emerged into an Ace for the South Carolina Gamecocks in 2013. Drafted in the 8th round (K.C. Royals) in 2011 as one of the best prospects to come out of the state of Virginia. That was too far back in the draft for Beal to go pro, he opted to his scholarship at South Carolina and I would say it has already payed major dividends.
Beal as a Freshman at South Carolina saw the bump often as he worked 52 innings to finish with an overall record of 4-4 with an era of 3.81. Opponents were only able to hit a minimal .220 of him last season. Beal also gained great experience pitching in the college world series where he had his longest outing of the season in 5 innings pitched. He would allow 1 earned run with seven hits and 3 k’s against the University of Arizona.
Beal is a tall right handed pitcher that uses a long stride and a high velocity fastball to be dominant. He will sit low to mid 90’s on his fastball. Beal will often change the level of his fastball to vary opposing batter’s eye level. His fastball is very heavy that seems to have late pop. The ball seems to come out of his hand effortlessly and then is on top of the batter in an instant.
Beal’s curveball might be his best pitch behind his hard fastball. His curveball has extremely hard bite to it, that will stay the same level till the ball seems to be right on top of the pitcher and then a sudden drop as if a balloon was completely released of its’ air. Beal’s arm action stays the same through and he has a high IQ of when to use his offspeed pitches.
The right hander’s mechanics are getting very polished the more he goes out to the mound for SC. He pitches with a high 3/4 arm slot that allows him to control his pitches better through the zone.
Beal has an excellent sense for the game and excellent poise while on the mound. He shows pretty much no emotion while pitching making it very deceiving at times as to what really is going on in his head.
This tall RHP is one to watch for the remainder of his Sophomore season and into his junior year. If Beal comes out after his Jr. season I can see him being selected somewhere in the 2nd to 4th round. If he does end up staying all the way through his Senior season this pitcher has the potential to develop into a first round pick.
I rated Beal’s OFP as a 61. Beal is a guy that could be a top 1 or 2 starter in the rotation down the road. The need for a strong changeup is still a weakness for this young ace, but being the Friday starter for SC will only force that into a requirement.
I will continue to check in on Beal’s status as we approach the 2014 draft.