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Jairo Beras Scouting Report

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Taking a look at Jairo Beras, the #14 prospect in the LSB Offseason Community Prospect Rankings

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Jairo Beras Scouting Report:  Jairo Beras ranked #14 on the LSB Community Prospect Rankings.

In the days leading up to Opening Day, I'm going to offer write-ups on the 30 players who made the Rangers' LSB Community Prospect Rankings Top 32 list, and who didn't get traded. I've done this the last couple of years, and I don't want to re-invent the wheel, so some of this will be a repeat of what I've written before, particularly regarding draft history or performance pre-2014. Also, this is not based on my personal observations -- I'm not a scout, and haven't seen most of these guys. I'm just aggregating the numbers and what others say about these players.

So, with that out of the way, let's take a look at Jairo Beras...

Jairo Beras is a 20 year old (we think) righthanded hitting outfielder from the Dominican Republic. Listed at 6'5", 178 lbs., Beras made headlines in February, 2012, when word came out that he had signed with the Texas Rangers for a $4.5 million bonus. This was controversial because Beras had previously represented that he was born in 1995, which would have meant he wasn't eligible to sign until July 2, 2012 -- when the new $2.9 million spending caps on international talent were being put into place for that signing period. But because Beras was now saying he was born in 1994, rather than 1995, he could be signed before then, and under the old, uncapped rules. MLB ultimately suspended Beras for one year, but allowed the signing to stand. You can read about the whole saga here.

Beras made his pro debut with the Rangers' complex league team in 2013, though he was limited to just 70 plate appearances, with his season ending due to a broken hamate bone in his left hand. Beras put up a .250/.314/.438 line in those 70 plate appearances.

The Rangers were aggressive with Beras to start off the 2014 season, sending him to low-A Hickory to start the year.  Given how raw Beras is, I think the expectation was that he'd go back to the complex league or maybe go to short-season A Spokane, but the Rangers opted to challenge him with full season ball.  It initially looked like the Rangers had overestimated how ready Beras was, as he put up a pitiful .176/.240/.176 slash line in April, which he followed up with a better (but still bad) .214/.267/.286 line in May.  This was over a combined 150 plate appearances, where he fanned 57 times.  As June rolled around, the expectations were that Beras was going to be sent down once the short-season leagues kicked off...but instead, Beras kicked it into gear, putting up a .307/.373/.493 line in June and a .284/.344/.398 line in July before fading in August, going .226/.301/.345 for the month.

Overall, Beras ended up hitting .242/.305/.342 for the season, with 133 Ks in 427 plate appearances, but the .267/.333/.402 line (76 Ks in 277 PAs) from June 1 on at least showed that he was able to get his head back above water after drowning the first couple of months of the season.

This offseason, Beras was ranked #16 in the Rangers system by MLB Pipeline, and #20 (#18 after trades) by Kiley McDaniel and John Sickels, but #23 by BA (#20 after removing the traded players) and #25 (or #23) by Jamey Newberg.

I would assume Beras will be back in Hickory to start the 2015 season.  My guess is that the Rangers would like to see him build on the improvements he made in the latter part of the 2014 season, and earn a promotion to high-A Myrtle Beach High Desert (ed note -- I have a mental block about this, I think) for the second half of the year.  In terms of his time frame going forward, he's probably not looking at being in the majors before 2018, at the earliest.

What sort of ceiling does Beras have? 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.  But he's got a long ways to go in order to reach that point.