Establishing themselves as the best at their respective positions over the first month of the season, outfielder Seth Beer and pitcher Cristian Javier have been rewarded with promotions to the AA Corpus Christi Hooks.
Beer has been lauded as one of the best players in the Carolina League over the first five weeks of the season, leading all players in multiple offensive categories, most notably home runs and in RBI in just 35 games on the year. Beer will depart as the best player in the young history of Fayetteville, hitting .328 with nine long balls and 34 runs driven in.
Javier established himself quickly as one of the best pitchers on staff to locate a fastball, while picking up swings-and-misses wholesale, and keeping opponents off the board with ease. As he departs Fayetteville, Javier will hang up a spotless 2-0 record combined with 40 strikeouts and a team-best 0.94 ERA over seven appearances. Javier follows Bryan Abreu and Carlos Sanabria in receiving the call to the Hooks.
His name etched into the Woodpeckers history book; Javier was the starting pitcher for Fayetteville in the franchise's first game. As Fayetteville poured 15 runs across the Potomac Nationals on Opening Night, Javier tossed two scoreless innings for the brief start, picking up a quartet of punchouts in the two frames. Following the brief performance in Woodbridge, Cristian doubled down on it in his next outing against Frederick, tossing four scoreless frames in relief of Bryan Abreu, the first Woodpecker to earn the Double-A promotion, striking out seven for the win.
Closing out his time in Fayetteville, Javier took on the Carolina Mudcats for the second time this season. Combining with fellow righty Enoli Paredes, the duo delivered a 1-2 punch to the Mudcats in the 4-2 win. The only two Woodpeckers to pitch in the game, the pair logged 17 strikeouts in the win, including eight from Cristian. Allowing only one base hit in relief, a double, Javier surrendered a Mudcats score on a hard-hit grounder, but no more. Emboldened by the attempted rally, Javier struck out the final five batters of the game to earn a rare four-inning save. In his final appearance for Fayetteville, Cristian Javier did not just slam the door shut, he cemented it shut.
On the opposite end of Javier, Beer got his work done for Fayetteville at the plate. As he leaves the League atop the home run leaderboards, it was not the case to begin the season. While Seth had hit .300 over his first ten games of the season, he never logged an extra base hit for the Woodpeckers. It took until the fourth series of the year for the first-round pick to go yard, breaking through with a towering shot over the 23-foot wall at Five County Stadium, home of the Carolina Mudcats.
Beer found new life against the Mudcats. Squaring off against the South Division foe for two consecutive series, Seth teed off for three home runs, four doubles, seven RBI and a .391 average in just six games. Quickly establishing his presence as Fayetteville finally christened Segra Stadium, Beer was an immediate hit with Woodpeckers fans, and was awarded the Carolina League Player of the Week for his performance, the first Woodpecker in team history to receive the honor.
While the Fayetteville offense faltered for a stretch over the month of May, Seth saw no such issue. Opening the month with a solo home run in a 4-2 win over Lynchburg, Seth went 9-for-21 with three home runs and seven more RBI in just the first five games of May. Seth eventually added a couple of more dingers against Carolina League foes, lofting another home run to dead center field in Five County Stadium once again, along with rocket shots to right field in Frederick, and at Segra Stadium against Salem. Beer batted .385 in the month of May with five home runs. In the month of May, Seth had more runs driven in, at 13, than he did strikeouts, at 12.
As the pair makes their way up to Whataburger Field, Nivaldo Rodriguez and Enmanuel Valdez will replace them for Fayetteville. While the time for Beer and Javier may have been brief at Segra Stadium, their impact on the Inaugural Season in Fayetteville will be remembered fondly over their eventually long careers in Houston.
The Fayetteville Woodpeckers are the Advanced Single-A affiliate of the 2017 World Champion Houston Astros and play in their Inaugural Season at beautiful Segra Stadium in downtown Fayetteville. Segra Stadium, a $40 million state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue, features space for over 5,200 fans, natural grass, a 25x70 LED video scoreboard, six luxury suites, four field boxes, the premium AEVEX Veterans Club level, Healy's Bar and outdoor party deck, a kid's zone, and more. With a rich history of baseball in the city of Fayetteville and Cumberland County, the Woodpeckers are thrilled to write a new chapter with their inaugural campaign on Hay Street. Fans are encouraged to visit FayettevilleWoodpeckers.com to purchase tickets, learn more about the team, and find out about upcoming events and promotions at the ballpark. Fans may also reach the Woodpeckers by visiting the BB&T Box Office in front of Segra Stadium, calling (910) 339-1989, or emailing Woodpeckers@Astros.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.