4:54 pm: The team has officially announced Beer’s promotion. Infielder Drew Ellis was optioned to Triple-A Reno in a corresponding move.
3:21 pm: The Diamondbacks are planning to select first base prospect Seth Beer to make his major league debut during this weekend’s series against the Mariners, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Arizona already had a vacancy on the 40-man roster after releasing righty Seth Frankoff earlier in the week.
Beer was a first-round pick of the Astros back in 2018. The left-handed hitter had a monstrous three-year run at Clemson leading up to the draft, and he’s continued to mash in pro ball. Beer has hit well at every minor league level over the past couple seasons, with that success continuing after he was traded to Arizona in July 2019 as part of the Zack Greinke blockbuster. (The three other players Arizona acquired — utilityman Josh Rojas and right-handers J.B. Bukauskas and Corbin Martin — have also reached the majors).
After spending last season at the D-Backs’ alternate training site, Beer was assigned to Triple-A Reno this year. Over 435 plate appearances there, the 24-year-old owns a .287/.398/.511 line with sixteen home runs. Those numbers are aided by a hitter-friendly environment, but Beer’s production still checks in twenty-six percentage points above the Triple-A West league average. Coupled with his previous track record of success, there’s little left for Beer to prove against minor league arms.
Despite his draft pedigree, Beer isn’t regarded as an elite prospect due to concerns about his limited defensive value. Baseball America slotted him seventeenth in the Arizona system on their midseason update, praising his offensive acumen while questioning whether Beer could develop into even a serviceable defender at first base. Many expect the National League to adopt the designated hitter in 2022 as part of the next round of collective bargaining negotiations, and few would seemingly stand to benefit more from a potential NL DH than Beer.
The Diamondbacks would have had to add Beer to the 40-man roster this offseason or else risk losing him in the Rule 5 draft. They’ll get an early look at a potential long-term option as they play out the string on a terrible year. Beer could seemingly take some playing time from the struggling Christian Walker, who has hit just .234/.308/.356 in 373 trips to the plate.