Hayden Beard, Gary Poynter Promoted to Lake Elsinore

Relief pitchers Hayden Beard and Gary Poynter have been promoted (from Fort Wayne and the AZL Padres, respectively) to High-A Lake Elsinore.

Beard, a 25-year-old Australian righty, will get his first taste of the level. He was poor in Fort Wayne, posting a 6.16 ERA and just a 22/16 K/BB in 36 1/3 innings. He allowed just one homer, but his 45.3% groundball rate shows that to be largely luck.

Poynter, 23, is universally praised for his stuff but derided for some of the worst pitching mechanics in the minors. He throws a mid-90’s fastball and a hard breaking ball, and keeps both pitches down, leading to tons of grounders (64.6% career). He’s never pitched in full-season ball, so his promotion comes as a bit of a surprise.

Beard and Poynter certainly didn’t seem to be the top candidates to go up to Fort Wayne, but I’m not the one calling the shots. Beard did throw two scoreless innings in his Lake Elsinore debut.

I’d imagine the thinking here is to see if these two old-for-their-levels guys really have what it takes to be decent prospects. I doubt Beard’s up for it in the long run, but Poynter certainly has the stuff to be intriguing if he can stay healthy and properly implement some of the mechanical changes the Padres have attempted to instill in him.

The two take the roster spots of a DL’ed Jorge Reyes (right shoulder strain) and a promoted Colt Hynes.

The Storm also added another player to their roster–Padres outfielder Will Venable, who’s on a rehab assignment. Venable is 0-for-6 with five strikeouts across two games; he’s clearly got some rust to shake off.

Tags: Colt Hynes Gary Poynter Hayden Beard Jorge Reyes Lake Elsinore Storm Will Venable

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