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Vanderbilt University pitcher Tyler Beede was the 21st pick in the 2011 major-league draft. The hard-throwing right-hander was the only first-round pick not to sign that year, as he turned down the Toronto Blue Jays’ offer of $2.5 million.
Beede made an impact at Vanderbilt right away. He threw 71 2/3 innings in his freshman campaign, with strikeout and walk rates of 21.3 percent and 10 percent, respectively. The ERA was a little high, but much of this was because of an inflated .379 in-play batting average. Beede signed with the Cotuit Kettlers of the Cape Cod League, but elected not to play.
He threw 101 innings his sophomore year, sustaining strikeout and walk rates of 24.7 percent and 15.1 percent, respectively. The in-play batting average dropped to .256, and as a consequence, opponents hit just .187 against Beede. This summer, he pitched for Team USA. Beede struggled with his control, walking almost one hitter per inning for Team USA.
Tyler Beede has ideal size and top-line stuff. Even at 6 foot 4 and 215 pounds, he could gain strength and size. His fastball is consistently 92-94, and will get up to 97. It has decent downward plane. He also will elevate the pitch, and it has swing-and-miss ability up in the zone. The curveball has solid break. With more consistent extension, it should have more depth and develop into a true plus pitch. Beede’s change-up is a good weapon against left-handed hitters. It shows impressive depth, and a little bit of arm side fade.
Beede has a smooth and easy delivery that shows his athletic ability. He uses more of a drop-and-drive motion that engages his lower half. For a shorter pitcher, this might be a concern, but Beede’s size allows him to maintain a good plane. Occasionally, he struggles with his release point and extension. However, the fluid and repeatable delivery, along with Beede’s athleticism, suggest he should be able to make the adjustments necessary to improve his control.
While his control isn’t as polished as other top college arms, Beede has elite stuff. He is a strong bet to repeat as a first-rounder, and could be the second arm taken behind Carlos Rodon.