Why Tyler Beede is the X-Factor for the SF Giants in 2022
Quick Look At Beede's Baseball Savant Numbers
He was called up to the Giants in July and only pitched just one inning before he got sent down to Sacramento. Baseball Savant charted his only inning of work and even though it's just an extremely small sample size, it was interesting to compare his 2021 data to his 2019 season. First of all, he only threw different pitches (four-seam fastball, curveball, changeup) in his only outing in the big leagues last season as he looked like he scrapped his sinker and slider. His spin rates were down in his three main pitches with his fastball going down from 2320 to 2079 RPM, his curveball from 2292 to 1898 RPM, and his changeup from 1600 to 1330 RPM. His velocity has seen an interesting change. He threw his fastball harder from 94.2 to 95.9 MPH but threw his curveball and changeup a bit slower from 80.3 and 83.9 MPH to 79.6 and 83.2 MPH, respectively. However, it should be noted that Beede threw in relief in his only big-league appearance last season so it likely skewed his velocity numbers. Velocity and spin rate are just a small part of the pitching equation but it's still a notable stat to check.
His stride length went up from a 6.2 feet average with his fastball and changeup to 6.5 feet. A quick comparison to his release points showed that his general release height is not only a touch lower which is most likely due to his increased stride length but also a good half a foot closer towards the middle of the rubber which is most likely a result of him reducing the crossfire in his delivery making his momentum more linear towards home plate.
Looking at Beede's movement profile and comparing the "vs Avg" or the movement relative to the velocity and overall movement of both 2021 and 2019, an interesting profile shift emerged. His fastball's relative vertical movement dropped drop -1.3 to -3.3 (16.9 inches of drop to 17.6 inches) and the horizontal relative movement went down as well from 2.6 to 0.5 (10.5 inches of run to 8.6 inches). His curveball's relative vertical movement went down from an impressive 6.2 to 3.3 (58.8 inches of drop to 55.6 inches) while his relative horizontal movement largely was a bit similar from -1.4 to -1.8 (7.7 inches of sweep to 9.1). His changeup's relative vertical movement is still similar from 3.3 to 3 (34.7 inches of drop to 36.3 inches) while his relative horizontal movement went down drastically from 0.6 to -1.7 (14.2 inches of run to 12.3 inches).
Finally, when comparing Beede's spin-based (out of the hand) and observed movement (on home plate), his fastball stayed relatively the same with a small shift from 1:45 to more 1:15 (clock direction) but Savant had his deviation as largely the same with a high active spin of 92%. His curveball also exhibited little to no deviation from a 7:15 direction but the observed movement showed that there's solid mirroring in terms of spin direction. His changeup, on the other hand, flashed seam-shifted wake traits as there is a noticeable deviation from his spin-based to his observed movement from somewhere around 2:30 to a more 3:15 spin direction.
A lot of numbers and concepts, I know, but I'll summarize it as simple as I can. Beede's velocity readings last season in relief might be misleading, but he threw his fastball harder compared to 2019 where it had less tailing action but with more sinking movement and a relatively stable path towards home plate due to its high active spin. His curveball had less drop and had a conflicting relative and actual sweep which is most likely because of the slower velocity that he threw the pitch in 2021. It mirrored the fastball's spin direction pretty well, however. His changeup, like his curveball, also had conflicting relative and the average drop where it had more actual drop than its relative which is also likely affected by throwing the pitch slower last season. It also had less tailing action last season. However, it had promising seam-shifted wake properties due to the noticeable change in his spin-based and observed movement.