SF Giants top prospects: No. 16 — RHP Tristan Beck
Highest Level: High-A (San Jose)
Acquired: Trade (2019)
Future-Value Grade: 40+
Tristan Beck was a candidate to be a top-five pick in the 2018 draft entering his final year at Stanford. Shoulder injuries and inconsistency ultimately derailed his season and his stock plummeted. The Atlanta Braves ended up signing him to an above-slot bonus as a fourth-round pick.
The Braves were especially cautious with Beck given his injury history. As a result, he has yet to pitch above the High-A level, despite turning 24 in May. With that said, it was still a boon for the Giants to acquire Beck and offload Mark Melancon’s contract at the 2019 trade deadline.
Prior to the deadline, Beck 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. After joining the Giants High-A affiliate (San Jose), Beck maintained his peripheral success from earlier in the season, while also seeing more tangible results.
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. Following the acquisition, he was beginning to touch the mid-90s much more consistently.
Beck followed up his strong close to the season with an impressive performance at the Arizona Fall League. Beck posted a respectable 3.63 ERA and struck out 23 batters in 22.1 innings against just 7 walks.
It’s still difficult to project Beck going forward. His extensive injury history already complicates matters, and his erratic velocity leave room to dream. Even without premium velocity, he has a potential plus curveball and league-average changeup. Those secondary pitches should be enough to be an effective back of the rotation arm with a low-90s heater. 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.
He would’ve started 2020 at Double-A and may have vaulted into the system’s top ten with a strong start. Instead, we’ll have to wait and see. Beck’s report is filled with a lot of questions, but the last we saw of him in 2019 showed a healthy starter that looked like a potential mid-rotation piece.