The Top 20 Cubs Prospects - #16 Jeff Beliveau
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Prospect #16 Jeff Beliveau
The second pitcher on this list is a lefty who models his persona on that of Nuke LaLoosh of Bull Durham fame. Contrary to what you might assume based on his last name, Jeff Beliveau is not a crazy Cajun who spits both tobacco juice and fire with reckless abandon. No, he's a lefty who instead fires baseballs with reckless abandon, walking 29 batters in the first 35.1 innings of his career. But he also has struck out 52, giving him a K9 ratio of 13.33 compared to a BB9 ratio of 7.44.
The Cubs must have seen something special in this guy to draft him, even though they waited until the 18th round to pick him up, because at a glance his numbers don't reflect the kind of success you'd expect for a guy who'd get drafted. Beliveau threw for 2 different schools in his NCAA pitching career, and he amassed a record of 14-10 with an ERA of 4.18, along with 213 strikeouts and 166 walks in 226.1 innings.
Ultimately, if Beliveau can master his control, he'll be a scary pitcher. Until that time, he's merely entertaining.
This guy is a lot of hit and a lot of miss.
- Ridiculous strikeout ability. 13.33 strikeouts per 9 innings would translate into close to 300 k's over a full major league season.
- Ridiculously poor control. 7.44 walks per 9 would equal 165 walks over a full major league season. On the other hand, he gives up fewer hits than innings pitched.
Basically, I am reminded of Sandy Koufax - not that anybody is comparing Beliveau to him. Lefties, we are led to believe, can develop more slowly than righties. That's why it shouldn't be too surprising when a player like Rich Hill suddenly blossoms at 27 or 28, while a player of equal talent who throws with his other hand would've been given up on by then. Who knows if Beliveau will ever figure out how to master his incredibly good stuff, but if he does he will make the majors and be a dominating pitcher. There are a lot of ifs in that equation, though.
I will say that this is the first example on our list of a player who has terrible odds of making the show, but tremendous odds of succeeding if he does. He's ranked this high based on the "if" factor alone.
Odds of reaching the Majors = surviving a sky-diving incident in which your parachute does not deploy
Odds of becoming a successful player at the Major League Level = winning a ton of money in Vegas while on a bender
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