We didn't have to wait long to see who the Red Sox were receiving in return for Kelly Shoppach, as the New York Mets sent right-handed reliever Pedro Beato over on Thursday. Beato is on the 40-man roster, and therefore needs a spot opened up, but with Will Middlebrooks likely out for the season, that's the easiest 40-man decision of the summer for the Sox.
Beato is 25, and has spent almost his entire season in Triple-A. Control used to be an issue for him, but that's evolved into homers these days. There was an arm here once worth something -- Baseball America rated him the #99 prospect back in 2007 -- but he hasn't quite shown up just yet. As we're coming to recognize, though, Boston has a thing for these kinds of arms: Clayton Mortensen, Andrew Miller, Franklin Morales, Zach Stewart, and now Beato. That doesn't guarantee that he'll turn him into something useful, but it does help with the whole benefit of the doubt thing for their scouting department's eye for relief help.
While his stuff is good, Beato's pitchability still needs work. He's still inexperienced in knowing sequences and how to set hitters up. Baltimore took away his cutter, which he regards as his best offspeed pitch, and it was sometimes hard for him to pitch without it. He's too inventive with new pitches and actually makes it easier on hitters when he comes off his best stuff. His command also suffers when he tries to be too perfect.
While the walks have dipped, the command issues don't seem to have, given his strikeout numbers haven't spiked, nor have homers subsided to reasonable levels. Again, though, that's on Boston to fix. And given their affinity for the cutter, there's sure to be some discussion along those lines as well.
The former first-round selection has accrued five years of minor-league service since his draft selection by the Orioles in 2005. The Mets, who attempted a draft-and-follow with him back in 2005, secured him in 2010's Rule 5 draft. He's already been optioned in 2012, so Boston won't burn another by sending him to Triple-A for the next couple of weeks, and he has two remaining to him, so next year he won't be foisted upon the major-league roster if he's not ready. Not an amazing return, but an intriguing one, especially for a backup catcher with two months left on his deal, and a penchant for punching out.