With Derek Jeter and Company taking over and remolding the Marlins’ future, we here at Fish Stripes are setting our sights on the future. The Marlin on the Rise series focuses on some of Miami’s best and brightest prospects. These are the guys that we’ll be getting to know in the coming seasons.
Today we are going to focus on 24-year old single-A pitcher Dustin Beggs, who was a teammate at Kentucky with recently featured middle infielder, Riley Mahan. They reunited with the single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers last year, both enjoying success at the pro level as well.
Having followed Greensboro quite a bit last year, Beggs was one pitcher who stood out to me for his consistent quality starts. He may not possess overwhelming velocity, his fastball topped out in the low 90s when I saw him pitch against Delmarva, but he does have exceptional control and a big curve ball and effective change-up that makes him an intriguing prospect.
Beggs was a late-bloomer. He went from topping out at 86 as a senior in high school per Perfect Game and going the Juco route, to being drafted in 2014 by the Cardinals; transferring to he SEC in 2015, and ultimately parlayed and excellent senior season into being drafted again in 2016 by the Marlins in the 16th round (473rd overall).
That senior season, as the Wildcats number two starter, Beggs went 9-2 with a 3.01 ERA in 14 games against a lot of tough competition in the SEC. He fanned 80 and walked only 16 in 98 2/3 innings.
At Kentucky, he was named an Academic All-American (third team), and graduated with a 3.69 grade-point average all while sporting a Samson-like hairdo and success on the diamond.
After a 2016 season in rookie ball and in short-season A ball with Batavia that can be chalked up to the adjustment to pro ball, with a 2-3 record and an ERA of 5.34.
In 2017, Beggs turned his low-90s fastball and solid control, into a successful season with the single-A Grasshoppers. He went 10-6 with an ERA of 3.86 ERA over 26 starts. In 149 innings, he effectively pitched to contact, giving up 150 hits while striking out 107. Most importantly, perhaps, Beggs only walked 31 batters to lead to an impressive 1.21 WHIP. This is despite having two rough 8-run outings in his last five starts.
He was also named the pitcher of the week for the week of June 4th in the South Atlantic League.
On the downside, there is a question to how much Beggs’ arm will continue to translate to the upper minors and beyond. In 2017, he gave up 23 homers in 26 starts, his BABIP was .288, and his FIP in 2017 was a sub-par 4.88, leading one to believe that Beggs’ success had an element of luck to it.
2018 looks to be an important season for the young pitcher, as he looks to prove that 2017 was no fluke, and that he can continue to fight against the odds and succeed in the turbulent, revamped Marlins farm system.