Armed and Ready for Action, Saints Sign Triple-A Pitcher Landon Beck, Re-Sign Spring Lake Park Hurler Jake Matthys
ST. PAUL, MN - The goal is to find a pitcher who has a championship pedigree, pitched in All-Star games and has faced some of the toughest hitters at the highest level of Minor League Baseball. St. Paul Saints manager George Tsamis found all that in one arm signing right-hander Landon Beck. He also brought back a key piece from his 2018 staff, right-hander Jake Matthys.
The 26-year-old Beck split last year between Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. He began the season in Springfield, but after two months was called up to Memphis. He spent a total of two different stints in each location and finished the year going 2-4 with a 4.14 ERA and one save in 43 relief appearances. In 63.0 innings pitched he walked 23 and struck out 57 while opponents hit .269 against him. It was what he did at the higher level in Memphis that impressed the most. Beck was 0-0 with a 2.96 ERA in 18 relief appearances. In 27.1 innings pitched he walked seven and struck out 21 while opponents hit .252 against him. He allowed just one run over his final nine relief appearances, spanning 14.1 innings pitched and didn't give up an earned run in 14 of 18 appearances. He also struck out at least one batter in his first 11 appearances. The Redbirds not only won the Pacific Coast League Championship, but the Triple-A National Championship with a 14-4 victory over the Durham Bulls. It was the second championship title in Beck's five-year career.
Beck was a 25th round selection by the St. Louis Cardinals out of Anderson (SC) College in 2014. He was assigned to the Rookie level in Johnson City where he went 1-1 with a 3.19 ERA in 13 games (eight starts). In 42.1 innings pitched he walked 19, struck out 51 while opponents hit .259 against him. His best outing was a 5.0 inning, two-hit shutout performance on August 2 at Greenville. He struck out a season high eight in 5.0 innings on August 14 at Pulaski. The Cardinals went on to win the Appalachian League Championship two-games-to-one over the Danville Braves.
In 2015 Beck had an All-Star season while with the Low-A State College Spikes where he went 2-3 with a 3.26 ERA and one save in 10 games (eight starts). In 47.0 innings pitched he walked just 10, struck out 51 and opponents hit .241 against him. He struck out at least six in five appearances and fanned a career high nine in 6.0 innings on July 31 vs Lowell. In his final four outings he struck out 30 in 20.2 innings. Beck threw 1.0 perfect inning of relief and struck out one in the New York-Penn League All-Star Game. He was promoted to Single-A Peoria on August 20 and went 0-3 with a 6.91 ERA in three starts.
The brief experience at Single-A to end 2015 helped Beck in 2016. He began the season with Peoria, but it didn't take him long to earn a promotion. Over the course of a month he went 0-2 with a 2.70 ERA and four saves in 10 relief appearances. In 13.1 innings pitched he walked four and struck out 20 while opponents hit .154 against him. Beck was promoted to High-A Palm Beach on May 14 and went 1-4 with a 3.54 ERA and seven saves in 34 relief appearances. In 40.2 innings pitched he walked 20 and struck out 39 while opponents hit .272 against him. He went eight straight appearances (10.2 innings) without allowing a run from July 9-August 5. He also went five straight relief appearances, towards the end of the season, without allowing a hit spanning 6.0 innings from August 17-31.
Beck began 2017 with Palm Beach and went 0-1 with a 3.77 ERA and seven saves in 13 relief appearances. In 14.1 innings pitched he walked five and struck out 13 while opponents hit .288 against him. He allowed just one unearned run over his final seven appearances (8.1 innings), lowering his ERA from a peak of 9.00 to 3.77. His numbers were so impressive he earned his second All-Star Game selection, but was promoted to Springfield on May 15 prior to the All-Star Game. While with Springfield, Beck went 1-4 with a 3.76 ERA and six saves in 37 relief appearances. In 40.2 innings pitched he walked 17 and struck out 44 while opponents hit .252 against him. He didn't allow an earned run over seven relief appearances, 10.1 IP, from June 4-22 and didn't allow a run over six relief appearances, 6.1 IP, from August 13-28.
The 24-year-old Matthys was a key piece to the Saints playoff run in 2018 being utilized as both a reliever, to begin the season, and then a starter where he was lights out on several occasions. Overall, Matthys was 9-8 with a 4.10 ERA in 34 games (10 starts). In 90.0 innings pitched he walked 25 and struck out 66 while opponents hit .270 against him. He didn't allow a run in his first seven relief appearances (7.2 innings) and didn't allow a run in 16 of 24 relief appearances. He transitioned into a starting role on July 13 and started 10 of his last 11 appearances. Against the two top hitting teams in the league Matthys dominated Kansas City and Sioux City in his first two starts. On July 13 he allowed one run on three hits in 5.0 innings against Kansas City. He was even more dominant five days later allowing just two hits, back-to-back singles in the second, before retiring the final 21 batters he faced going 8.0 innings allowing one run on two hits.
Matthys began his professional career in 2017 with the Gary SouthShore RailCats where he went 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 20 games (two starts). In 32.2 innings pitched he walked seven and struck out 31 while opponents hit .256 against him.
The Spring Lake Park High grad was an All-Conference hockey player and was listed as one of the top players in the state by ESPN. Matthys elected to play baseball and began his college career at Kansas State where he was named to the All-Freshman team, the first ever in school history. The Wildcats won their first conference title in eight decades.
Following his sophomore season Matthys transferred to Southwest Minnesota State to be closer to his family and then finished his college career at San Angelo State.
The Saints have 11 players on their roster.
RHP Landon Beck
RHP Mitch Brown
LHP Ken Frosch
RHP Jake Matthys
RHP Eddie Medina
RHP Todd Van Steensel
INF Josh Allen
INF Devon Rodriguez
INF Blake Schmit
INF Joey Wong
OF Max Murphy
The Saints begin the 2019 season with a 10-game homestand. Opening Day is Thursday, May 16 at 7:05 p.m. against the newest member of the Milwaukee Milkmen.
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