Get on the wagon now.
Ever since I heard the hype before I heard of Carlos Rodon I have been questioning the hype. This weekend he was supposedly 86-92 after the first and Kiley McDaniel said that Trea Turner passed him as a prospect (that quickly?). I've been looking for an arm the hitch my wagon to for the 2014 draft ever since the Rodon hype made the 2014 draft relevant in 2013 draft conversation. I have settled on Tyler Beede of Vanderbilt.
The scouting reports going back to HS were exciting on Beede, from PG:
Beede heads up one of the best groups of Massachusetts high school pitching prospects ever seen in one draft. While Beede is the premier arm of the group, RHP’s Pat Connaughton (St. John’s Prep), Adam Ravenelle (Sudbury-Lincoln HS) and John Magliozzi (Dexter HS) are all potential top 5 round arms. LHP Andrew Chin (BB & N), RHP Devin Perry (BB & N), RHP Barrett O’Neill (Ashland HS) and RHP Robert DeCosmo (Cathedral HS) all have 90+ mph fastballs and have received plenty of scouting attention as well. That talent base belies the fact that no Massachusetts high school player at any position has been picked in the first five rounds since 2003, when the Marlins selected Jeff Allison in the first round. Beede is far from the stereotypical raw arm from the region, however. His father, Walter, was a 13th round pick of the Chicago Cubs in 1981 as a first baseman and played one year of minor league ball, so baseball definitely is part of the Beede bloodlines. Most importantly, Beede has been participating in national level events since early in his sophomore season, including the 2010 Aflac All American Game, and has a polished maturity on the mound that is equal to any Sun Belt pitcher. He has a low effort delivery with good lower half use and repeats his mechanics consistently. Beede’s fastball doesn’t touch 97-98 mph like many of top high school arms seem to be doing this year but he’s a consistent 92-93 mph and will touch 94-95 occasionally. His upper 70’s curveball is a potential plus second pitch and his change up shows signs of being a plus pitch at times as well, although he understandably hasn’t used the pitch frequently. Beede’s ability to mix his pitches and throw to spots is very advanced for a high school pitcher and will enable him to be immediately successful at the next level, whether that is at Vanderbilt or in professional ball. Even though he could sneak into the back of the first round on talent, Beede is well prepared to pass on pro ball for at least three years. He transferred before his senior year from his hometown Auburn High School to Lawrence Academy, a prestigious prep school, to better prepare himself academically for Vanderbilt and is a high level student. Projected Draft Position: Late First Round/Sandwich
Matt Garrioch's comment about Jonathan Gray having the Clemens/Schilling type body put in the idea of my mind.
Possibly it is because of that comment I came to this comparison immediately when I checked out Beede in HS:
That is a simple, athletic pitching motion on a big bodied arm. It's very explosive, and at a very young 21 for next year's draft it is not hard to see an uptick in velocity between now and his arrival to the majors.
PG had this to say on him this year:
Tyler Beede - Beede is clearly adding strength to his tall, slender frame. His delivery continues to be in rhythm and smooth. He has good fastball velocity, and while he's always around the zone his command could use some improvement. I think this could improve significantly once he learns to attack hitters more, as he currently works away from both RHH and LHH, not uncommon at the college level. His changeup is a plus pitch, thrown with the same arm velocity and overall action as his fastball, and the pitch just puts on the break right as it hits the zone. His breaking ball however continues to need work, and identity. I haven't seen him snap a very good one in two starts this year, and that was also a problem last year and even while in HS.
and here's a BP piece on him from January (subscription needed):
The package of physical gifts is really likable. Mechanics smoother than gravy. A low-90s fastball with really good life. A 1-to-7 breaking ball with some bite and plenty of depth. Feel for a changeup. Feel for pitching. He’s already got great stuff. When he was drafted, he was listed at 6’4, 200 lbs. After a summer of strengthening and conditioning his body, Beede says he’s added about 20 pounds of muscle to his frame. He’s a guy who has a chance to explode as one of the best players in college baseball this season. Here’s some of what Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin had to say about him:In terms of guys who have been in this program before, if you take a guy like David Price or you take a guy like Mikey Minor or a Sonny Gray, his mind works very similarly to those guys. He’s very competitive; he wants to know everything that’s going on; he pays attention to detail. He’s like a quarterback; he watches film. He’s just immersed in the game of baseball; he wants to try to figure it out. With his work ethic and his personality and his intelligence and his makeup and his care level—which, I think his care level supersedes everything—I don’t think there’s any question that he’s just going to get better and better.
Multiple scouts agree with Corbin’s assessment. There really isn’t much question that the sky is the limit with Beede. Personally, I think this is a prospect who has a chance to make a name for himself with more than what he does on the mound, and in a conversation with him, I could see him becoming something like the academic, super-fun personality that Brandon McCarthy has assumed.
I only saw one start, last year when he was a freshman. Impressed me with a willingness to us his changeup, hit 94, had decent mechanics (wasn't as impressed as I am of that Youtube video, but it also wasn't a very good start IIRC), struggled with the breaking ball a little bit, and struggled to throw strikes.
Right now control is clearly an issue, but if he's working on mechanics then long term I think that will turn into a strength. From there he seems to have everything to be a horse and is growing into an ace step by step rather than exploding onto the scene ala Rodon. Not just Rodon either - I think he's a better prospect than Cederoth too.