June 13: The Astros have announced the signing. MLB.com’s Jim Callis tweets that Beer receives a $2.25MM signing bonus, which checks in a bit south of the No. 28 slot value of $2.399MM.
“Seth Beer has been college baseball’s premier slugger for the past three years; his resume speaks for itself,” assistant GM Mike Elias said in a statement announcing the signing. “We feel his productivity will translate well to the professional game and see him as a potential impact bat for our lineup. We are delighted to add Seth to what is already one of baseball’s strongest farm systems.”
June 9: The Astros have reportedly agreed to terms with first-rounder Seth Beer; FOX 26’s Mark Berman tweets that Beer himself has said so. The outfielder was the 28th overall pick in this year’s draft, and adds that he’ll fly to Houston on Tuesday to sign and head off to short-season ball.
Beer was ranked 45th and 46th among draft prospects by MLB.com and Baseball America, respectively. BA described him as “one of college baseball’s brightest stars”, citing his 70-grade power, exceptional pitch recognition, and .277/.421/.561 batting line this spring. MLB.com, meanwhile, writes that “few college players can match his combination of strength and patience at the plate.” It’s believed that, while it’s no certainty that the slugger’s power will translate at the major league level, it has the potential to be a carrying tool.
Beer was the consensus Freshman of the Year as a Clemson rookie, when he hit .369/.535/.700 with 18 home runs. His contact has fallen off a bit since then, but the power remained strong throughout his college tenure. Detractors will point to Beer’s speed and poor routes in the outfield as concerns that he won’t stick at the position, along with a swing that can hardly be described as “smooth”. Indeed, it appears that he’s somewhat of a polarizing player among scouts; at points he was mentioned as a potential number one overall pick, while some believed him to be a fringe second-rounder. If he rides to the major leagues, it’ll be on the coattails of his great power/patience potential and even more excellent surname.