September 30, 2023

Clayton Beeter hopes to become more than the man the Yankees traded Joey Gallo for

Clayton Beeter talks to the media ahead of the 2023 MLB Futures Game

Clayton Beeter talks to the media ahead of the 2023 MLB Futures Game / SNY

Joey Gallo did not succeed with the Yankees, but his tenure in pinstripes did produce a pitching prospect that the organization ranks very highly.

Clayton Beeter came to the Yanks when New York dealt Gallo to the Los Angeles Dodgers at trade deadline last season. The 24-year-old right-hander was the Dodgers’ No. 15 last year, according to MLB Pipeline, and became the Yankees’ No. 10 overall — he currently sits as No. 13.

To Yankee fans, Beeter’s name is synonymous with Gallo, which the Texas native doesn’t seem to mind. But he hopes that one day his name can stand on his own and his competitiveness will be what he is known for.

“Every time my name is mentioned, Joey Gallo’s is also mentioned, which is cool. But at the same time, I also want people to know who I am,” he told reporters ahead of Saturday’s Futures Game. “I grew up watching Joey Gallo. It’s not a bad dude to be thrown with that.

Beeter said he had never met Gallo, but went to many Rangers games where the left-handed outfielder launched many a moonshot.

His first step towards becoming a household name in the eyes of Yankees fans is the 2023 Futures Game. Beeter gave up the two batters he faced on nine pitches, including a strikeout.

“Felt good, it was definitely different coming out of the bullpen in the seventh inning,” Beeter said after the Futures Game. “But it was fun.”

Beeter impressed on Saturday in much the same way he has impressed the Yankees so far this season.

In 12 starts in Double-A Somerset, Beeter went 6-2 with a 2.08 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 60.2 innings. HIS impressive start to the minor league season led to a promotion to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where it was a bit of a tough sledding.

In two starts, Beeter is 0-1 with a 5.73 ERA. He has given up seven runs in 11 innings he pitched on that stretch. But the youngster is not deterred and does everything he can to keep learning and sharpening his craft.

“I’m glad I can stretch out and learn a lot about throwing and not just throwing,” said Beeter. “I’m more focused on winning games and trying to compete. At the end of the day, it’s a game we play rather than being focused on stats.”

In the Dodgers system, Beeter pitched only one or two innings per appearance. Since his move to the Yankees, they’ve put a lot of focus on getting him to go deep into the games as a starter and stay healthy.

“I feel great. I feel like I’m recovering well,” he said. “Feel the same as last year when I only played one or two innings. It’s much more fun [to go longer] I would say.”

Beeter explained that apart from the length, this season is very similar to previous seasons. He’s trying to develop and throw his change a bit more, but the focus is on staying healthy and adapting his body to the workload.

If Beeter can continue to develop in Triple-A, he may be called up this season if the Yankees need an extra arm. It already happened with Randy Vasquez And Johnny Brito so Beeter stays on hand by talking to his teammates, especially those who have already had a taste of the big leagues Matt Krook And Greg Weissert.

They have taught him a lot of invaluable knowledge while also putting him in the right mindset as the day a call comes.

“It’s different with the Yankees because they’re always contenders, so you have to go there and perform, which is part of the deal,” he said. “It’s exciting to see everyone moving up and it’s also encouraging.”

Beeter won’t be the only Yankee in this year’s Futures Game. Spencer Jones — the Yankees’ No. 3 — is also in Seattle to showcase the best and brightest of the minor league system.

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