San Francisco Giants Select RHP Tyler Beede with 14th Pick of the 2014 Draft
The Giants selected pitcher Tyler Beede out of Vanderbilt University with the 14th overall pick in this year’s draft. Beede is a long (6’4″) and lean (200 lbs) right-hander who had a terrific year in 2013 as a sophomore at Vanderbilt. While his ERA went up substantially this season (from 2.32 to 3.2o) his strike out and walk rates both improved.
Here is MLB.com’s scouting report: “Beede figures to become just the 18th player selected in the first round of two different June Drafts. Picked 21st overall out of a Massachusetts high school in 2011, he opted to attend Vanderbilt, where he led NCAA Division I with a school-record 14 victories and was one of three finalists for the Golden Spikes Award last spring. When Beede is at his best, he can display three above-average pitches. His fastball usually operates around 92-94 mph and can clock as high as 97. His sharp curveball and his changeup both arrive in the low 80s, playing off his fastball well. The biggest question with Beede is whether he’ll be able to harness his quality stuff. His delivery can get out of sync. He can be unhittable but also has problems finding the strike zone.”
Here is what Baseball America says about him: “Pick analysis: Beede began the season as the No. 3 college pitcher in the class but struggled with his control down the stretch, although he had one of the best starts of his career in his final outing before the draft. While his control has been his been the most deficient part of game up to this point, he is going to the right organization to help him harness his plus stuff.
Scouting report: Beede was the fourth high school pitcher drafted in 2011, after Dylan Bundy, Archie Bradley and Jose Fernandez. The Blue Jays and Beede didn’t come to terms, though, with the Jays offering $2.4 million and Beede seeking $3 million or more. He headed to Vanderbilt and struggled as a freshman but seemed to put things together while earning Southeastern Conference pitcher of the year honors in 2013. Even in his 14-1, 2.32 season, Beede walked 5.6 per nine innings, and he had a rough summer with Team USA, with his delivery getting out of sync when he couldn’t find the strike zone. He has thrown more strikes this spring (3.3 BB/9) but has been more hittable, and scouts give him average control grades with below-average command. Nevertheless, Beede looks the part of a first-rounder at an athletic, powerful 6-foot-4, 215 pounds with a clean arm, and he flashes plus with three pitches. At times he pitches with a well above-average fastball, reaching 97 mph and sitting 92-94. His changeup has been his best secondary offering this spring, earning plus grades, and he throws one of the hardest curveballs in the draft at 80-81 mph, giving him a third plus pitch. Beede has a big personality and rap alter ego (Young Beedah) and was the life of Team USA’s clubhouse despite his struggles last summer. He’s a wild card in the first round whose last starts, particularly at the SEC tournament, will be watched closely as scouts look for signs of improved strike-throwing.”
I don’t think there is any doubt that the Giants took the player they thought was the best available. However, as a college starter out of one of the top programs playing against top competition and simply making it through three college seasons without injury, Beede is about as safe a bet as you get for an amateur pitcher although there are some concerns about his control. The slot value for the 14th overall pick is $2,613,200.
The thing I find most interesting about this year’s draft is that Jeff Hoffman (selected 9th overall by the Blue Jays) and Erick Fedde (18th overall by the Nationals) both went so high despite both having recently undergone Tommy John surgery. Obviously, many teams now feel that elbow tendon surgery is just a blip on the radar screen that most pitchers will come back fully from, at least if they are young.
What I will also be interested in seeing is whether or not, in this day of bonus pools, is whether Hoffman and Fedde sign for less than slot money. If I were a general manager, I would certainly be leery of spending a draft pick as high as the No. 9 overall pick on a pitcher who just went under the knife unless that pitcher was willing to accept less than slot money.
In fact, the Rockies used the No. 8 overall pick on Kyle Freeland, a pitcher who reportedly just had a physical which raised red flags. There has been rumors that the Rockies selected Freeland with a hand shake agreement that he would accept less than the slotted signing bonus.