All-Area Baseball Player of the Year: Hard work defines, drives Beer

Much was predicted of Trevor Beer ahead of his sophomore season for Crescenta Valley High baseball.

And much was accomplished during a sensational sophomore campaign by the left-hander.

It was in the summer ahead of his junior year, though, that Beer’s name and reputation began to grow, his work ethic and play against competition around Southern California adding to the notice gained in his 10th-grade season.

“I think that started last summer,” Falcons coach Phil Torres says of when Beer began becoming a known commodity around SoCal diamonds. “We play up [against strong competition] in the summer. He was going against guys in college.”

So as Beer continued to put in work, he continued to put down batters one after the other.

“Trevor Beer is such a great player because of his work ethic,” senior Lucas Martos-Repath says. “He works hard all the time and it’s never good enough for him.

“To be honest, I wasn’t [surprised at his success]. We have those big expectations for him and he lives up to them; he exceeds them.”

Beer was scintillating on the mound and added a strong season at the plate to his resume.

With his exploits, which included a 9-1 record, 101 strikeouts and a 0.76 earned-run average, the Falcons followed to a Pacific League championship season.

In the aftermath of an ultra-impressive junior season, Beer has been voted the All-Area Baseball Player of the Year by the sportswriters of the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader and La Cañada Valley Sun.

“He was one of the key factors that brought us all together,” senior Nico Arredondo says. “It’s such a big thing to know you have a guy that can just go out there and shove.

“He just gets in a zone and he’s like, I’m going to dominate. He turns a switch when it’s game time.”

Domination was hardly happenstance when Beer, who went 6-2 with a 1.07 ERA and 78 strikeouts as a sophomore, took to the mound.

Among the season’s many accolades for Beer, the Falcons ace was named the Pacific League Pitcher of the Year, an All-CIF Southern Section Division II first-team selection and was picked to play in the prestigious North-South All-Star Series.

He carved out a 9-1 record with a 0.76 ERA across 73 innings with 101 strikeouts to just 16 walks. He also made a pair of relief appearances and tallied two saves.

At the plate, he posted a .319 batting average with 13 runs, 12 runs batted in and seven extra-base hits.

“As a team, we definitely had a lot more confidence when he was on the mound,” freshman Will Grimm says.

And as a team, the Falcons collected their second straight league title, this one of the outright variety as they posted a sterling 13-1 league mark and an overall 25-3 record that included a phenomenal 23-game winning streak.

While his overwhelming success has been a byproduct of talent and hard work, Beer’s time on the mound donning a Crescenta Valley cap and uniform seemed destined.

After all, he’s the son of longtime Falcons assistant Darren Beer, whose trademark tip-toed trot to his spot as first base coach is as synonymous with Crescenta Valley baseball as the coach’s success developing a long line of standout pitchers such as Trevor Bell, Dustin Emmons and Brian Gadsby.

An assistant at CV for more than 25 years, Darren Beer was a former standout for the Falcons before moving on to play at USC. But for the younger Beer, growing up around the Falcons was never forced upon him, but something he rejoiced in.

“There was really no pressure to pursue baseball, specifically, or anything else,” the younger Beer says. “He let me figure it out myself and I fell in love with it on my own.

“I was just always around the program growing up, being the bat boy or shagging balls.”

And, for the record, he’s always been a left-hander.

“Everybody always jokes that I was born a righty and my father made me a lefty for the sake of being a pitcher, but I do everything lefty,” Beer says.

The familiarity has become a key component for triumph.

“He pitches,” Torres says. “He hits his spots and changes speed. He has a feel for what’s working and what’s not. His dad calls the pitches and they have a great communication. But when Darren’s not there and I call the game, we communicate real well, too. He’s in on it, too. He knows what’s working and has a great mind for the game.”

Though Beer does very well with his two- and four-seem fastballs and his slider, while dabbling with a change-up, by many accounts, it’s his curveball that drops the most jaws and befuddles the most batters.

“He’s got that left-hand overhand curveball that not a lot of kids have,” Torres says. “Even if you know it’s coming, it’s hard to beat.”

Adds Martos-Repath : “One of the things I’m most impressed by is his curveball. It’s killer. It starts at a kid’s head and ends up in the dirt.”

Though the talent, mechanics and mind for the game are clearly there, Beer’s work ethic might well be his largest driving force.

“He works insanely hard,” Arredondo says. “He can only get better, in my opinion.”

To hear it from his coaches and teammates, Beer’s biggest critic is himself. So the hard work comes easy in a sense.

“Truth be told, talent can only take somebody so far,” Trevor Beer says. “[Working hard is] very much a part of just what our program is about and it really rubs off on the individuals.

“I want to play baseball and be involved in baseball until the day I die. It’s my passion.”

So even in the afterglow of such an impressive junior season, the question, as aforementioned by Arredondo, is are Beer’s best days in front of him?

“Next year, I think he’ll get even better,” Torres says. “I know that’s something to say for a kid that went 9-1, but I think he’ll be even better.”

And there certainly isn’t any lack of motivation for Beer. Despite such a successful junior season, a first-round exit in the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs with a 3-2 loss to Capistrano Valley looms large.

“Without a doubt, all of us are motivated,” Trevor Beer says. “The run we went on was amazing, but falling short [is an inspiration for next season].

“One of our biggest goals is to win one more game and one more after that.”

grant.gordon@latimes.com

Twitter: @TCNGrantGordon

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