12. RHP Tristan Beck
Acquired: Trade (2019, via ATL)
Future Value: 40+ (grade up)
Tristan Beck was a candidate to be the top pick in the 2018 draft entering his final season at Stanford. However, injuries and inconsistency derailed his season and his stock plummeted. The Atlanta Braves ended up signing him to an above-slot bonus as a fourth-round pick.
He began his pro career rehabbing from the injuries he sustained as an amateur. As a result, he has yet to pitch above the High-A level, despite turning 23 in May.
Before he was acquired in the Mark Melancon trade, he posted a 5.65 ERA with the Braves High-A affiliate, but his peripherals (9.6 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 3.07 FIP, and 2.93 xFIP) suggested he had been a victim of bad luck.
Beck’s fastball sits around 92 mph and his curveball has looked like a plus pitch since high school. In his peak as a prospect, his fastball routinely sat in the mid-90s and approached triple-digits. While he has yet to regain that consistent form, according to one source, TrackMan had Beck touching 97 mph prior to the trade.
After joining High-A San Jose, Beck maintained his peripheral success from earlier in the season, while also seeing more tangible results. Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser even noted that he had touched 96 mph and was regaining some of his previous prospect status.
It’s still difficult to project Beck. His extensive injury history already complicates matters, and his strange velocity jumps leave room to dream. Even without premium velocity, he still has the secondary pitches to be an effective mid-rotation arm. Given his injury history and the evolution of pitching staffs, he could be the perfect fit for a short-starter role that limits him to 125 innings or so a season.
His age could lead the San Francisco Giants to be aggressive going forward. He’s set to start 2020 at Double-A and with some early success, a quick move to Triple-A could follow.