Thursday, June 24, 2010

Say g'day to P.J. Bevis

Last weekend the Seals signed reliever P.J. Bevis, a 30-year-old native of Brisbane, Australia. Let's take a closer look at one of the newest Seals.

P.J. ("Peter Jon") was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Arizona Diamonbacks in 1998. He spent eight years in affiliated baseball with the Diamondbacks, Mets and Rockies organizations. Initially, he looked like a solid prospect and he had a lot of success at the AA level, posting a 3.42 ERA over 5 seasons there. But Bevis struggled at the AAA level and was eventually released by the Colorado Rockies in 2005.

After taking the 2006 season off, he decided to give independent baseball a try. Bevis spent the last three seasons playing independent baseball in three different leagues and he was a teammate of Aaron Easton in 2009 with the Edmonton Capitals. Bevis had a 5.84 ERA with the Capitals last year in spite of the fact that he only gave up 2.2 walks per nine innings. His excellent control is obviously one of his biggest assets, but he also has a good fastball and a nice sweeping "12-to-6" curve ball.

Last year, his strikeouts dropped off to only 5.1 strikeouts per nine innings, but he had 6.9 K’s per nine in 2008 with the Calgary Vipers. Early in his career, Bevis was a strikeout pitcher. For instance, in 5 AA seasons he struck out 244 batters in 228 innings. He has been used as a short man so far by the Seals and he has already registered a save. He has been dominant at times for Victoria – he has given up one walk and eight strikeouts in his first 4 2/3 innings with the team. If Villafuerte’s recent struggles were to continue, Bevis could take over as the Seals' closer. In fact, that may have already happened given how Villafuerte has been used of late.