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San Francisco Giants: Evaluating Tyler Beede’s season

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 13: Tyler Beede #38 of the SF Giants pitches during the second inning against the Miami Marlins at Oracle Park on September 13, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 13: Tyler Beede #38 of the SF Giants pitches during the second inning against the Miami Marlins at Oracle Park on September 13, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /
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It was an up-and-down season for Tyler Beede, but the San Francisco Giants rookie right-hander ended 2019 on a high note.

Rookie right-hander Tyler Beede was plagued by command issues for much of his minor league career. Despite that, the young San Francisco Giants pitching prospect showed plenty of intrigue with his ability to rack up strikeouts.

As spring training got underway, Beede put his name back on the prospect map as he displayed a mid-90s fastball and paired it with a sharp curveball, an effective slider, and a good changeup. That’s the type of repertoire that gives him a chance of sticking at the MLB level.

During an impressive spring, he showed better command and a streamlined approach to attacking hitters. Despite that, he was assigned to Triple-A to start the season. That was a short-lived assignment as the right-hander posted a 1.99 ERA in 22.2 frames before being promoted.

Those were impressive stats for any minor league pitcher, but given the inflationary offensive environment that the Pacific Coast League became this season, it adds context to just how effective Beede threw.

The San Francisco Giants promoted Beede at the start of May, and it could be argued that they did not exactly set him up for success in the early going. His first two appearances were in the Great American Ballpark and Coors Field, two of the more hitter-friendly ballparks in baseball.

He struggled in those starts, and then in another against the Toronto Blue Jays. In those three outings, he gave up 10 earned runs in only 6.2 innings of work. The Giants decided to send him back down, but he was brought up again after a string of good starts at Triple-A.

At that point, the Giants made a wise decision in allowing Beede to develop at the major league level. That meant allowing him to work through his struggles if they arose, and to show confidence in him following a bad start.

While it may have not been communicated to Beede at the time, the San Francisco Giants gave him a longer leash than any other young starter this season.

He made good use of that confidence as his command improved, and his effectiveness as a starter showed up down the stretch.

The table below shows Beede’s walk and strikeout totals by month this season:

The high strikeout numbers are not surprising. Beede has shown the ability to generate plenty of swinging strikes throughout his career, and that is part of what makes him an intriguing pitcher.

The number that stands out is the improved walk totals as the season progressed. Beede gave up too many free passes early this season, but once he was brought up for good, he showed improved command.

He also made some nice adjustments down the stretch. On the season, the young right-hander posted a 5.08 ERA to go along with a 5.04 FIP in 117 innings. Those stats were not great on the surface, but some context is needed:

Beede’s last three months showed the highs and lows of a rookie pitcher developing. In July, August, and September, Beede posted a 3.34 ERA, 7.25 ERA, and 3.28 ERA, respectively.

That August ERA does not look great, but development is never linear. It is always interesting to see how a rookie pitcher responds after struggling, and Beede rose to the challenge.

After a string of bad starts in August, Beede had a much better showing in September. In his final start against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday, he left with an injury but ended the year on a high note:

The good news is that the injury is considered mild. Regardless, Beede showed enough this year to be penciled into next season’s Opening Day starting rotation.

Next. How the second-half bullpen audition impacts 2020

As the San Francisco Giants consider their strategy heading into free agency, they should be able to count on Tyler Beede holding down one of the five rotation spots. The hope is that he can build on the strong finish to this season, and carry it over into next year.

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