At 7-foot, former Savannah Bananas pitcher on path to be tallest participant in MLB historical past

Savannah Bananas left-handed pitcher Jared Beck throws to first base to attempt to choose off a Morehead Metropolis runner throughout the 2021 season when the Bananas beat the Marlins for the Coastal Plain League championship.

There was one Savannah Bananas baseball participant head and shoulders — fairly actually — above the remainder.

Seven-foot pitcher Jared Beck is the tallest Banana ever and helped the staff win the Coastal Plain League championship in 2021.

The left-hander out of Saint Leo College in Florida was one among seven present and former Bananas chosen final week within the MLB draft. When the Baltimore Orioles known as his title within the thirteenth spherical, 377th total, Beck continued on a path that might sometime make him the tallest participant in main league historical past.

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Taller than 6-foot-10 Randy Johnson (1988-2009), an intimidating southpaw now within the Nationwide Baseball Corridor of Fame. Taller than 6-11 right-handers Jon Rauch (2002-13) and Sean Hjelle, who made his debut this season for the Giants, and are tied for tallest gamers ever on the MLB degree.

Beck is not there but, however he already has confirmed to be a power on the mound.

Simply ask his former Bananas teammate Nick Clarno, who caught Beck as a catcher and is grateful he did not must bat towards him.

“I’ve watched him throw numerous strikes and strike lots of people out final yr,” Clarno mentioned Wednesday.

“It is in all probability arduous as a result of, initially, it is coming larger up, so you have to change the bat angle. He is reaching out farther than most guys. His curveball would actually look like it is coming from the sky. I do not understand how folks hit him, in the event that they did. … I would not have hit him.”

Clarno’s not giving himself sufficient credit score, having succeeded as a hitter as an all-conference participant at Lenoir-Rhyne College and a standout with the Bananas. After the draft, the Atlanta Braves signed Clarno, who performed at Grayson Excessive, as a catcher.

The Orioles did not wait that lengthy to draft Beck, who began 13 video games for Saint Leo and recorded 105 strikeouts to 31 walks in 68.1 innings. He additionally allowed 55 hits and sported a 4-4 document with a 3.95 ERA.

His strikeout complete led the Sunshine State Convention, and opposing batters’ .217 common was fourth within the league. Beck, who hails from Davenport, Iowa, made second-team All-SSC.

“Final summer time when (Beck) was right here, he actually took the subsequent step to being nearly as good as he may probably be,” Bananas fifth-year head coach Tyler Gillum mentioned. “Then he took it into faculty and had an unbelievable yr.”

Beck had been dominant with Savannah, yielding 9 hits with 38 strikeouts and a 1.05 ERA in 25.2 innings.

Gillum mentioned Beck pitched within the 88 to 92 mph vary, topping at round 94. He described the 225-pounder as athletic, getting extra coordinated and mature as time handed.

“He is an ideal child,” Gillum mentioned. “You get guys with lengthy arms like that, being 7-footers, and so they do let the ball go actually near the plate. It makes it powerful (on batters) to hit.”

Savannah Bananas third baseman Beau Brewer warms up before a home game during the 2022 season.

Savannah Bananas third baseman Beau Brewer warms up earlier than a house recreation throughout the 2022 season.

Bananas within the draft

Drafted from the present staff had been CPL All-Stars Beau Brewer, a 3rd baseman, by the New York Yankees within the nineteenth spherical; and Carson Dorsey, a left-handed pitcher, by the Texas Rangers within the seventeenth spherical.

“It has been an unreal expertise,” Brewer mentioned after his remaining Bananas recreation on Wednesday evening. “I walked in right here not realizing folks and now it is household and now I find it irresistible like household. It has been a once-in-a-lifetime expertise.”

From McKinney close to Dallas, Texas, Brewer performed for Paris (Texas) Junior School and had signed to play subsequent faculty yr for the College of Kansas. The utility participant was batting .333 in 33 video games — seventh-best within the league — when the Yankees grabbed him with the 580th choose.

Savannah Bananas relief pitcher Nate Peterson enters the game via a Segway at Grayson Stadium.

Savannah Bananas reduction pitcher Nate Peterson enters the sport by way of a Segway at Grayson Stadium.

Bananas alumni drafted had been left-hander Nate Peterson (on the Bananas in 2019), outfielder Invoice Knight (2020, ’21), left-hander Joe Miller (2021); Beck; and Georgia senior right-hander Jack Gowen (2019, ’20), a graduate of Charlton County Excessive College. Knight, who performed at Mercer, is an Augusta native and Burke County Excessive alumnus.

After the draft, the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Bananas slugger Livan Reinoso (2021, ’22), the San Francisco Giants signed Florida State right-hander Davis Hare (2021), a South Effingham Excessive graduate from Guyton; and the Atlanta Braves inked Clarno (2020, ’21, ’22) and Georgia Southern left-hander Hayden Harris (2021), a Grovetown Excessive graduate.

Left-hander Joe Miller of the Savannah Bananas was the 2021 Coastal Plain League Pitcher of the Year.

Left-hander Joe Miller of the Savannah Bananas was the 2021 Coastal Plain League Pitcher of the Yr.

Harris was added to the Bananas’ roster late within the 2021 season and was a key contributor of their run to the CPL crown.

Clarno’s worth to the staff prolonged effectively past his duties at catcher, third base and first base in addition to with the bat. He was a high-energy man, charging up his teammates with chatter and typically startling actions — like consuming a dwell cockroach within the clubhouse — to snap the membership out of a funk.

“All of the enjoyable right here is superb, all of the followers that come and all my lifelong mates I’ve made since I have been right here,” mentioned Clarno, 24, who graduated in Might from Lenoir-Rhyne in Hickory, N.C., with a level in enterprise administration. “So far as the baseball goes, the teaching right here is unreal.”

Savannah Bananas pitcher Jack Gowen tosses the ball during a game at Grayson Stadium.

Savannah Bananas pitcher Jack Gowen tosses the ball throughout a recreation at Grayson Stadium.

Clarno credited the teaching employees led by Gillum, whom the participant known as “about the most effective there’s” in educating him “a lot concerning the recreation, in all probability greater than any coach I’ve had.”

When gamers returned to their school groups, they almost all performed higher, Clarno mentioned of the 2021 Bananas.

“I believe it is due to right here,” Clarno mentioned. “I believe this place teaches you to calm down and have enjoyable with the sport. On the identical time, they’ve taught us so many improvement issues so far as drills, baserunning, hitting, every little thing within the recreation.”

Georgia Southern left-hander Hayden Harris of Grovetown pitched for the Savannah Bananas in 2021 and was a key contributor in the playoffs.

Georgia Southern left-hander Hayden Harris of Grovetown pitched for the Savannah Bananas in 2021 and was a key contributor within the playoffs.

The Bananas tied the Peninsula Pilots for many gamers picked from a CPL staff with seven within the 20-round draft. A yr in the past, Savannah and Lexington County led the league with eight. The Bananas led the CPL in 2019 with 11 gamers chosen in a 40-round draft.

It is validation to the Bananas group that growing expertise — gamers, coaches, entrance workplace employees — is a part of the equation.

“We attempt to do every little thing right here,” Gillum mentioned. “It isn’t simply leisure. It is also on the baseball facet of issues. It is all the time good to have these guys drafted. These guys get to see their lifelong dream that they’ve needed to do this since they had been 5 years previous. We had been only one step within the course of to assist them get that.

“We’re pumped for these guys. I believe it solidifies that we’re not simply entertaining. We’re additionally being actually good on the sphere, too. It is actually cool.”

Savannah Bananas third baseman Beau Brewer talks with teammates before a home game in the 2022 season.

Savannah Bananas third baseman Beau Brewer talks with teammates earlier than a house recreation within the 2022 season.

Nathan Dominitz is the Sports activities Content material Editor of the Savannah Morning Information and savannahnow.com. E-mail him at [email protected] Twitter: @NathanDominitz

Bananas get picked in 2022 MLB draft

Spherical    Total choose    Title    School    MLB staff    Bananas staff 

8    252    Nate Peterson    Illinois-Chicago    Milwaukee    2019

10    306    Invoice Knight    Mercer    Seattle    2020, ’21

11    327    Joe Miller    Pennsylvania    Detroit    2021  

13    377    Jared Beck    Saint Leo    Baltimore    2021

17    499    Carson Dorsey    Gulf Coast CC    Texas    2022

19    580    Beau Brewer    Paris JC    Yankees    2022

20    592    Jack Gowen    Georgia    Miami    2019, ’20

This text initially appeared on Savannah Morning Information: Savannah Bananas 7-foot pitcher Jared Beck chosen in MLB draft