June 5, 2012 in Sports

Beachy a surprise

 

Perhaps hidden somewhere in a small town in America is a baseball player with major talent who won’t be drafted this week.

That overlooked player can find encouragement in the undrafted major leagues’ ERA leader, Atlanta’s Brandon Beachy.

Beachy, from Kokomo, Ind., didn’t overwhelm scouts as a junior third baseman and closer at Indiana Wesleyan University in 2008. Braves scout Gene Kerns discovered Beachy that summer at a Virginia league.

“I was sitting there through eight innings,” Kerns said in a telephone interview. “He came out on the mound, a nice, big physical kid. He started his warmups and what he really did was wake me up.”

Kerns said he quickly pulled out his radar gun and clocked Beachy’s fastballs at 90 to 94 mph.

“I didn’t know anything about him,” Kerns said. “After the game I went over and asked him if he’d ever been drafted.”

Said Beachy: “I kind of chuckled and said no. It kind of went from there.”

Kerns said he needed two days to talk the Braves into offering Beachy a $20,000 signing bonus. It was the only opening Beachy needed.

Beachy shot through the minors and leads the majors with a 1.87 ERA.

He is regarded as a surprise, but Beachy (5-4) expects success. “I don’t see a reason to fail,” he said.

Beachy, who was a pre-law student at Indiana Wesleyan, made Kerns look good from the start of his professional career.

He became a starter in 2009. He was a combined 5-1 with a 1.73 ERA with Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett in 2010, when his 1.73 ERA led the minor leagues.

Beachy was 7-3 with a 3.68 ERA in 2011, when his 169 strikeouts set the Braves’ modern-era (since 1900) record for a rookie.

Kerns said in 42 years of working as a scout, Beachy is his best discovery.

“It’s indicative that they only come around like that once in a while,” Kerns said. “I don’t think I’ll find another like Brandon Beachy.

“Give all the credit to Brandon. I just lucked out.”

Santana to rest

Johan Santana will get two extra days of rest after his no-hitter.

The New York Mets say Santana’s next start will come Friday night at Yankee Stadium in the opener of the Subway Series.

Santana threw a career-high 134 pitches Friday night against St. Louis in the first no-hitter in team history.

Pavano placed on DL

The Minnesota Twins placed Carl Pavano on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain before the game at Kansas City, Mo.

The 36-year-old Pavano is 2-5 with a 6.00 ERA in 11 starts this season.


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