San Francisco Giants rookie Tyler Beede made his MLB debut on Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, throwing four innings, giving up three runs and two hits, struggling with his control with five walks but fanning three. He is one of the rare players who have actually been selected in the first round twice, 21st overall to the Blue Jays in 2011 and then 14th overall to the Giants in 2014.
After spending his college years at pitching powerhouse Vanderbilt, he has worked his way through the minors with mixed results. He had a sub 3 ERA in 2014 and 2016, but 3.97 ERA in 2015 and 4.79 in 2017. Luckily this is an even numbered year, so patterns suggest he should have a solid year.
Beede features a four pitch mix with his fastball flirting with the upper 90s but typically sitting in the 92-94 range. He has a curveball and cutter but rarely are both sharp on the same night. His change has long been his best secondary offering. Overall he has four pitches that at least flash big league average but need more consistency from game to game. As his first start shows, he also needs to improve his command.
He has some leg drive and shows good balance on the mound with a pure 3/4 arm slot.
His fastball does give some good arm side run that allows it to play up while the curve sits in an 11-5 path but with a slightly bent wrist making it easy to read at times. His change will run and dip while the cutter does run pretty well when he is at his best.
Thanks to the fact that every pitch he throws has movement and most have a downward plane, Beede can limit the long ball well and induce soft contact. He is not a huge strikeout pitcher and never really will be.
Right now he has a shot to stick in the Giants rotation, but chances are he will see more time in the minors this season. He likely needs to pick one of the two breaking balls and focus on turning it into a reliable out pitch.
If Beede manages to do this, he can become a solid mid-rotation arm that was worthy of being drafted in the first round a couple of times. If he keeps the four pitch mix and neither breaking ball becomes consistent enough to rely in every fifth day, he could be stuck as a spot starter type with a relatively high floor.