I was dismayed initially by that pick because I had read some negative stuff about Beede, which was from people from his school. Then, thinking about it afterward, while shopping (I guess it cleared my head), I remembered that there were Giants fans who wanted to trade Cain because "he's a loser," so I resolved to have an open mind, as I usually do after a Giants first round draft pick, and see what I can find out about our draft selection. My research follows.
Well, I really did want a pitcher. Our pitching staff is starting to get old. Soon, all our starters except for Bumgarner, will be over 30, in the danger zone where career declines can suddenly appear for some. Even our relievers are pretty old themselves. We need some young blood coming in, and our first round picks are our best bullets to adding another young stud to our pitching staff.
Of course, if Beede does end up being a reliever, that would feel like a major disappointment, unless he's a shut-down closer or key set-up man even. But that is the way it is with draft picks, even #14 draft picks, my study of the draft found that under roughly 20% of the draft picks from 6-20 end up being a good player, and slightly more turn out to be useful (i.e. relievers, key bench players). Some might think "#14 should be good", but not really, not in the history of the draft.
With the 14th pick in the draft, only 9 of the 49 picks have generated at least 18.0 WAR in their careers (And I included Jose Fernandez in there because he looks like he should reach that easily. That's slightly under 20%. Right now, I'm defining useful as 9-18 WAR as useful (still working on my definitions for my next, updated study), and that works out to 4 out of 49 picks (that's why I covered a range of 6-20 in my study, I classified each pick at the border to see which group it belonged to, because otherwise, the numbers will jump around due to randomness). 2 out of the 49 picks were what I call marginal players, generating less than 9 WAR but more than 3 WAR. That leaves 34, or a vast majority, who either has not played in the majors or not played that much in the majors, with four of them still working their way up the ladder still, but have had poor starts to their pro careers so far (contrast that with what is usually quoted by draft analysts, which is that 34 of the 49, or 69%, have played in the majors). So you need to have low expectations for the draft pick from the get-go, even as you are dreaming of what he might become.
For now, here is some vital stats. He's 6-foot-4, 215-pound RHP, so pretty good size for a pitcher. He was actually drafted, and pretty highly (21st overall, so he moved up), when he came out of high school, but he turned down $2.5M bonus back then to go to school instead. So he went to Vanderbilt instead.
At Vanderbilt, he was wild. He had 5.2 BB/9 in his sophomore year, with 2.10 ERA, but dropped it to 3.9 BB/9 this season, though with a higher 3.20 ERA. He gave up a lot more hits in 2013, but it's all relative: rose from 5.4 H/9 to 6.8 H/9, which is still looks pretty good. More importantly, his K/BB rose from 1.8 to 2.5 (generally over 2 is good in pros, but not sure about college), as his K/9 went up from 9.2 to 9.7. His BABIP, whatever that means in college baseball, was .242 in 2013 and rose to .290 in 2014.
There were some mocks that had the Giants selecting him but which got changed later on, Baseball America early on for one. Perfect Games actually nailed it and was the only one to have mocked him to the Giants with their final one.
His coach at Vanderbilt has this to say on his profile:
COACH CORBIN QUOTE: Love the way he has developed his leadership skills and developed as a man. Tyler has a very good understanding of `team' and the building of individual relationships. He is very respected by his teammates for his servant behavior, the effort he puts toward other players and his investment level into the game.That fits in with what the Giants FO seems to look for, when possible, good leadership skills, good maturity, good team player. I'm not sure what he meant by "servant" behavior though. Sounds like "subservient" to me, which is usually a negative, but the coach definitely used it in a positive way here.
Alex Pavlovic reported some bits of info (most highlights going forward are mine):
- Appears part of the reason for the pick is closeness to majors: Barr said, “He’s someone who, I hate to set timetables on, has a chance of moving quickly.”
- On the MLB Network broadcast, he got comps to Matt Harvey and Sonny Gray, which are pretty good comps. Gray apparently is also from Vanderbilt and he moved pretty quickly too.
Just spoke with John Barr, the Giants’ point man in the draft, and he said they’ve got Beede clocked as high as 96 with an impressive curve and will mix in an effective changeup. Barr said the Giants have followed Beede since high school and commended the kid’s confidence and courage for deciding to reject a big bonus out of high school to pitch in college.
“He’s gotten more physical, stronger and continued to progress,” Barr said. “The velocity of his fastball and breaking stuff have continued to be crisper in his development.”
Regarding Beede’s numbers slipping from his sophomore to junior years, Barr said, “From a record standpoint, but everybody’s different. When we look at numbers . . . we felt like he improved some on his command. But we also know that there’s also so much more. It’s a good arm and athletic player and hard working player. We think the combination will be a postive.”Here is what MLB.com noted:
Scouting Grades: Fastball: 65 | Curveball: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 45 | Overall: 60
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.
(Note: Players are graded on a 20-80 scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average).Wow, so he's rated an above average overall pitcher by MLB.com (Mayo and Callis I assume). His fastball is above average, his curveball is good, and changeup is average (and remember, average is good in the majors). Where he is lacking is control, as shown by his high walk rate in college. The Giants have had some success with taming pitchers, both Cain and Lincecum had reps for wildness prior to making the majors.
And we saw what happened when Bumgarner's delivery got all wonky, it was Tidrow to the rescue, and he helped Bumgarner (who later said that he didn't know before how to pitch well, he just did, that he learned how to repeat how to pitch well with the Giants coaching) become able to repeat his delivery. So hopefully he can help Beede's delivery not get out of sync so much. The key, obviously, is for him to learn how to repeat when he is unhittable and vastly reduce the times when he has problems finding the strike zone.
Here is what Kiley McDaniels had to say after the draft about Beede:
Beede was all over the map for teams leading up to the draft: he was a mid 1st rounder entering the spring, jumped into the top 10 early in the year, then fell to the back half of the first round as his command and makeup became real questions, then had a late surge as he hit 99 mph in his regional start. There's mid-rotation with some tweaks and maybe even frontline ability if the Giants development staff can get everything out of him.
Draft Pick Allotment: $2.61 millionOK, that makeup issue is probably what got Vanderbilt fans all riled up about Beede. But all what one can hope for with their first round picks is that there is frontline ability, you want take a chance on the the good players coming through for you, through the player development funnel, most will fall out, but I think you have to take the risk for a topline starter, and while they didn't go the way I was hoping, with Touki, Beede seems to have the underlying ingredients to be a topline starter. That's what any team picking in the top half of the first round should be shooting for.
Projected Bonus: $2.50 million
Here is Baseball America's analysis of Beede before and after the draft, he was ranked 15th best overall before the draft in their Top 500 prospect ranking:
14. GIANTS:Pick: Tyler Beede, rhp, VanderbiltPick value: $2,613,200Area Scout: Andrew Jefferson
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.Now that is what I'm talking about: plus stuff. Similar type of discussion: good quality pitches but his delivery gets out of sync, which leads to bouts of wildness. I like to hear about stuff, pitchers with good stuff can strike out batters more easily, and that is the name of the game in the majors, striking out batters.
Perfect Game also ranked him 15th for the draft, and noted this in this short blurb from their mock draft, which they did mock him to the Giants:
Outside of Jeff Hoffman, there may not be any bigger wild card among the early picks of the draft. The Giants could be the beneficiary of that uncertainty, as no teams cultivates pitching as well as they do, and Beede has the pieces to be an ace if the parts come together for him.Some more stuff about Beede becoming an ace, I like that! PG also noted in an article that Beede was one of three college pitchers (including Rodon and Hoffman) who have the abilities to be the #1 college pitcher with a good spring. Obviously, he didn't accomplish this, but this makes the pick make a lot more sense, in that the Giants, since Barr has taken over, seem to not hold it against any prospect at face value when they fail to do well in their junior year.
For example, Brandon Crawford was ranked Top 10 pre-season, but with a disappointing season, fell all the way back to later rounds where the Giants picked him up. In addition, Susac and Osich was going to go higher but poorer performances led them to fall some in the draft as well. The Giants under Barr looks for quality that is hidden by poor performances in their junior year, or at least poorer than expected.
I can see why some observers were down on Beede. He did not improve on this great sophomore season, and was expected to be one of the top college starters this season. Instead, he disappointed against those expectations, which probably were made more loftier based on his 2.10 ERA and 14-0 record. Having a 3.20 ERA and 8-7 record definitely look bad compared to that sterling sophomore year. But looking at the stats for the conference, the main difference was that his BABIP was abnormally high last season and simply regressed to the mean this season (.298 BABIP in SEC this season).
And this season, looking at his peripherals, 9.7 K/9 ( conference average 7.0), 3.9 BB/9 (3.15), 2.46 K/BB (2.23 K/BB), which was still pretty good looking, just not as great as last season.
Although, like in other drafts, I was initially disappointed by the choice, probably because I was fan-boying on some guys I wanted to draft instead, Beede is what I would like to see with a draft pick this high in the first round. I want a prospect who can be a frontline starter, a potential ace. Leadership qualities is always a plus here. I like a pitcher with strikeout ability, and he's much above average in his conference.
I'm not too worried about his wildness, walks are OK as long as his K/BB ratio is high enough to counter that. Basically, the logic there is for every extra walk he may give up, because he strikes out so many, there is one less hit given up for each extra walk. That's a good trade off anyday.
I like plus velocity and he's got some, regularly in the 92-94 MPH range, and sometimes higher, 97-99, which is good when you want to get a strikeout. He's also got a plus changeup and curve, that's three plus pitches in his repertoire. That's a great combination of pitches to have as a starter.
I also like the intangibles. He has leadership qualities. He's kind of a goofy fun clubhouse personality, which would fit in well with the Giants, and not necessarily other teams. He's a hard worker, and that is a good quality to have in a player, those players have a great chance of developing and improving themselves.
I especially like his guts and commitment. He turned down $2.5M when he was drafted out of high school in 2011, and there is no guarantee he'll ever get that much in 3 years, things happen. This reminds me of Lincecum sticking to his guns when he asked for $1M from the Indians and they turned him down (if they hadn't, they would have had Tim, CC and Cliff Lee in their rotation). You need some cojones to do that.
I'll end with a link to a good article someone shared on Shankbone's draft post, that discusses his background some, that amplifies on these intangibles (there is even a rap video Beede made, that is there). It turns out that he's a coach's son, they seem to always be very good at the intangibles of baseball. The Giants love ballplayers who are like that, whether through their father the coach or great coaching that they had: Cain, Noonan, Posey, Panik, Arroyo, and now Beede, among others. These guys require less coaching because they just know how to do things the right way.
And, WOW, and the decision to not sign was really not about money, but about what was right for him. That takes even more cojones! He knew what he wanted and he wasn't going to let money dictate that to him. Listening to the song, he basically says he wants to be the best but he has a vision for himself, his decision to make and live with, that's very impressive to me!
So I like him, I like his chances a lot, he has a lot of good qualities that I would want in a pitching prospect, heck, in a baseball prospect. Making the majors is majorly hard. Failure as I showed above for picks #14 is the highest probability, yet some do make it and do well. He has a lot of skills that the Giants should be able to develop and he is not deterred by hard work nor driven by money, it's better than that, he's driven internally to be the best that he can be, helping his team with leadership, all towards the goal of winning as a team. There are many gauntlets a prospect must navigate to make the majors, and he had no problem with his controversial decision to opt out on $2.5M.
With him, we know that he'll be working hard no matter what is paid to him, and that really is the most we can ask of any prospect. He has the skill set and the team will have their experts tune him up, particularly Tidrow. So it is up to him to put in the work, not let the downs get to him (as we have seen with some Giants prospects who struggled with adversity), have a basic belief in his abilities to make the majors, then you play the games and you see what happens. That maximizes his chances and minimizes the enormous risks we take with these young men picked in the draft.
So, regardless of who we could have selected instead, in focusing on simply what Beede is, I like that a lot and he has a lot of good qualities to him that will help him march through the baseball player development gauntlet.
I'll let Young Beedah take us out: