Barber: Tyler Beede’s future in doubt as A’s pound Giants 9-5
Giants catcher Stephen Vogt spent a good portion of his media time defending Tyler Beede, the young pitcher who had taken the L in a 9-5 loss to the A’s on Wednesday afternoon. Pressed for some explanation of Beede’s recent streak of poor pitching, which has now reached five starts, Vogt tossed the media a small morsel.
“The only thing for me is that at times he has difficulty repeating his delivery and repeating the pitch,” Vogt said. “So just eliminating the non-competitive pitches out of the zone and getting back to just driving the ball through the strike zone. That’s really the inconsistency.”
It wasn’t much, as critiques go. But it’s an interesting observation when you compare it with this description of Beede: “… features a smooth delivery but struggles to repeat it with consistency.”
That was from a Bleacher Report scouting report from 2014, following Beede’s final season at Vanderbilt University.
The overall scouting report was positive, and the Giants’ internal grades must have been great, because they took Beede in the first round that year, at No. 14 overall. Everyone always loved his size — he’s 6-foot-3, 211 pounds — arm strength and comportment.
At one time, Beede was considered the top prospect in the Giants organization. As recently as 2016, he was ranked No. 2 in the system by MLB.com. But while 2014 MLB draft picks Aaron Nola, Kyle Freeland and Carlos Rodon have combined to win a total 111 games in the majors, Beede has won all of three. And Wednesday’s start at Oracle Park never looked like it was going to be the fourth.
By the time Beede left the game with a runner on first and none out in the fifth inning, he had thrown 80 pitches, yielded a home run and two doubles, and had hit two batters. His team trailed 4-0.
“With Beede, we’re just trying to get him over the hump here, as far as being consistent in executing of pitches,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “You know, it’s really good at times, and then it gets away from him a little bit. I mean, first inning. Gets a couple quick outs, 0-2 (to Matt Chapman, the third batter), then the next thing you know he’s at 20-something pitches.”
And down 1-0 after Chapman’s ferocious home run to the right side of center field. That ball left Chapman’s bat at 106 miles per hour and traveled 411 feet. Matt Olson’s third-inning double exited the zone at 108.4 mph. A couple of Oakland singles, by Olson and Stephen Piscotty, also broke the 100-mph barrier. In the fourth inning, three consecutive A’s hit the ball on the nose and right up the middle, including pitcher Homer Bailey. They were timing up Beede as if they were standing in a high school batting cage.
That is not an uncommon occurrence. Beede has made big strides with his control, a former weak spot. But he hasn’t been fooling many good hitters lately. He has now given up 17 home runs in fewer than 83 innings in 2019, and Giants fans are almost completely out of patience.
Beede, 26, had hoped to turn a corner this season, and for a while there it looked like he had. Between June 27 and July 19, which corresponded to the beginning of the Giants’ wondrous (if perhaps fleeting) turnaround, Beede made four starts, went 2-1 and posted a 2.00 ERA and a stellar WHIP (walks + hits per inning pitched) of 0.815; hitters had an embarrassing OPS of .542 during that span. In the four starts that followed, Beede went 0-3 with an 8.38 ERA and a WHIP of 2.017; opposing hitters’ OPS ballooned to 1.112.