The San Francisco Giants adopted a familiar strategy in the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft, opting to select right-handed pitcher Tyler Beede out of Vanderbilt. Beede, a Massachusetts native, was previously a first-round pick by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011, but he decided to attend Vanderbilt because of its academic prestige and tradition of a winning baseball program.
Giants assistant general manager John Barr told reporters after news broke the team had drafted Beede with the 14th overall pick that, “He’s someone who, I hate to put timetables on, has a chance of moving quickly.” Beede has compiled a 23-12 record with a 3.17 ERA in 47 collegiate appearances, holding opposing hitters to a .221 batting average.
The Giants’ draft mantra has remained consistent over the longstanding tenure of GM Brian Sabean: Always select the best available player. San Francisco believes they’ve accomplished that in drafting Beede, whom ESPN senior baseball analyst Keith Law dubbed a “top-five pick” in March. According to Law, Beede has had his “ups and downs”, but has good control of his three primary pitches with velocity on his fastball that ranges between 92 and 95 mph. Law cites Beede’s excellent ability to manipulate his pitches, throwing a change-up that ranges 78 to 82 mph and a tight curveball that tops out at 81 mph and features 11-to-5 break.
At 6-foot-4 and 215-pounds, Beede possesses the ideal size of a prototypical pitching prospect. The Giants appear hopeful that he can accelerate quickly through the minor league system, although his progress won’t be hurried. At 21 years old, Beede isn’t in a rush to make his big league debut. He reportedly turned down an excess of $2 million after being drafted in 2011. This kid wants to do it right.
At 39-21, the Giants own the best record in MLB action, which could prompt general manager Brian Sabean to make a big splash at the trade deadline in order to solidify their chances of winning their third World Series title in five seasons. San Francisco could be forced to part with a top prospect to accomplish that feat. The organization’s acquisition of Beede, whom front office executives will work to strike a deal with before rookie camp in the fall, could enable the Giants to potentially leverage right-hander Kyle Crick in trade talks this summer.
Crick is the Giants’ best prospect. He owns a 14-8 record with a 2.52 ERA in 53 minor league appearances, including 45 starts, over parts of four seasons. He’s steadily matured, advancing to the next highest level of competition in each subsequent season of his professional career. Crick has recorded a 3-1 mark with a 3.71 ERA, averaging 9.8 K/9 in 34.0 innings at the double-A level in 2014.
The Giants didn’t just draft the best available player by selecting Beede at No. 14 overall. They added depth to their repertoire of pitching prospects and potentially gained leeway in trying to make a big splash at the trade deadline.