Twins Draft Preview: Tyler Beede
by, 05-23-2014 at 09:38 AM (760 Views)
A top five pick in the MLB draft is a blessing and a burden. Getting it right can mean the addition of a franchise-altering talent. Getting it wrong can be very, very costly.
Will the Twins stake their future on a pitcher as erratic yet electric as Tyler Beede?
Who is this guy?
Beede has been one of the elite young arms in the nation for some time now.
In 2011, he was drafted 21st overall by the Blue Jays, who went far over slot and offered $2.5 million to the 18-year-old righty from Massachusetts but were still spurned, as Beede would not budge from a colossal $3.5 million asking price. He was the only first-round pick not to sign that year.
While this might seem like greed to some, I think the more accurate depiction is of a talented young man with a full ride to Vanderbilt, who would only let a completely outrageous offer woo him away from such an opportunity.
After a rocky freshman year, Beede settled in as Vanderbilt's ace as a sophomore, going 14-1 with a 2.32 ERA while averaging more than a strikeout per inning. Though his W/L and ERA regressed this year as a junior, he improved his walk rate and continued to miss plenty of bats.
ESPN.com's prospect guru Keith Law came away extremely impressed after watching Beede pitch against Stanford in March, concluding that "it's hard for me to imagine that he's not a top-five pick."
Why the Twins will pick him
It's not hard to see the allure. Beede has a prototypical pitcher build at 6'4" and 215. He lives on a powerful fastball that clocks in the mid-90s, and he complements it with a strong changeup and a sharp curve that he has sometimes struggled to harness.
You can never have enough quality arms, and Beede would fit nicely into the organization's timeline, joining Kohl Stewart and J.O. Berrios as premium young pitchers who will be scheduled to arrive in two or three years.
Why the Twins won't pick him
A consensus mock draft list compiled this week on SB Nation averaged out the results of six different expert mocks and had Beede going to the Rays with the 20th overall pick. Even Law, who was clearly quite high on Beede earlier in the spring, has said more recently that he expects the righty to go in the second half of the first round, citing shaky command in the latter part of the college season.
While he's got plenty of ability, the inconsistency in Beede's track record makes it difficult to justify him as a top five pick. His stuff is plenty good but he has too often been unable to control it, and although the Twins have a good record of helping pitchers iron out control issues, that's probably more risk than they're willing to take on when picking this high.