In the aftermath of the community prospect rankings wrapping up last year, I figured I'd do write-ups for each Ranger prospect who finished in the top 25, in the order that they were selected. It was something that seemed to go well, and so I’ve decided to do this again.
Two caveats about this: First, I have no first-hand information about most of these guys, and for the hard-core prospect-philes out there, you probably already know everything that I'll be writing about these players.
Secondly, since I did this last season, a lot of the material is going to be a repeat from last year. I’m going to cut-and-paste certain things from last year, simply because I don’t see the need to completely re-invent the wheel in terms of talking about what Martin Perez did in 2008 or something like that. So don’t complain about that.
Moving right along, today we are looking at the #8 player in the community prospect rankings, Jairo Beras.
Beras and the Rangers reached an agreement on a deal that featured a $4.5 million signing bonus in February, 2012. This signing was extremely controversial, as Beras was thought by most at the time to be just 16 years old, and had represented his age as such to MLB. At 16, Beras would have been ineligible to sign until July 2, 2012...however, that July 2, 2012, class was the first one subject to an international signing bonus cap, and the amount Beras would have been able to receive would have been much less than $4.5 million. There was much consternation, to put it mildly, around MLB over this deal, given that Beras had apparently misrepresented his age to MLB. Some of the more homerrific Rangers fans dismissed the rest of MLB's concerns as teams being "butthurt" or just mad the Rangers outworked other teams, but the issues involved were much deeper than that, particularly given that they occurred during a time when MLB was trying to increase the level of transparency involved what is often a murky, sleazy, and corrupt process in the Latin American international free agent market. The contract was ultimately approved, with Beras being suspended until July 1, 2013, meaning that he has yet to play in an official league as a professional.
Beras is a raw player with big upside but a long way to go, profiling as having huge raw power potential and a plus arm, but not much else at this point. Beras's ranking at #8 in the LSB Community Rankings, ahead of Nomar Mazara and Ronald Guzman, was curious to me, and has him slotted higher than most...Jason Cole has him at #14, Jamey Newberg has him at #10, both having him behind Mazara and Guzman, and Baseball America and Keith Law do not include Beras in their top 10. The one list that does have Beras ranked this high is MLB.com's list, which also had him at #8.
What sort of ceiling does Beras have? Like a lot of the Rangers' highly regarded prospects, he’s miles away. However, the comp that has been put on him, in terms of his ceiling, is Juan Gonzalez, so that is something you can dream on if you're so inclined.