Why Tyler Beede is the X-Factor for the SF Giants in 2022
After taking a look at Beede's 2021 Baseball Savant stats, it's time to dive down to the film room to answer a couple of questions. First, did Beede scrap the slider and sinker and ultimately go with three pitches after his Tommy John surgery? And second, did Beede look actually good at his best? There also be more questions that could arise and also answered while doing the film study. In the film study, I am picking Beede's July 23rd outing against the Tacoma Rainiers where he went 3.2 innings with two hits allowed, an unearned run, two walks, and four strikeouts. He also threw 49 of his 78 pitches for strikes in what could possibly be his best outing last season.
Beede's first pitch to lead-off hitter Luis Liberato is a 95 MPH fastball down and away on the edge for strike one. The next pitch is a belt-high fastball that missed away. The 1-1 pitch is a changeup that ran too much away to put Beede behind in the count. The next pitch is a fastball up and away from that Beede spotted well and blew by Liberato to get ahead 2-2. The next pitch is another well-located fastball middle away on the edge of the strike zone that he once again blew by Liberato for the strikeout. The pitch clocked in at 97 MPH on the stadium gun. After the first batter, it looked like Beede has his fastball control on point and another thing that I noticed is the glove set-up change in his windup.
The first pitch to the next batter, Jake Hager, is another 97 MPH fastball thrown on the inner half of the plate thigh-high for strike one. The location was there but catcher Chadwick Tromp wanted it down and away so it's a missed location. The 0-1 pitch is a breaking ball that looked like the slider and it answered the first question. Yes, Beede still has a slider in his arsenal. It is thrown where Tromp wanted it, down and away on the black but did not get the call and it evened the count to 1-1.
Tromp wanted another slider down and away on the black for the 1-1 pitch but Beede hung it to the letters and Hager hit it well to the left-center gap. Heliot Ramos tried to make a spectacular diving catch to his right but was a step too late and it fell to the gap for a one-out double.
With a man on base, the first pitch to Dillon Thomas is a belt-high fastball that he blew by Thomas for the first strike. The next pitch is a beautiful curveball that looked like a high fastball to the face but ended up at the top of the knees to get ahead in the count 0-2. The 0-2 pitch is an even better curveball that initially looked like a high fastball off the plate to make him chase but broke just below the knees for the three-pitch strikeout.
After a lengthy battle against Taylor Trammell where he kept attacking the star lefty prospect vertically with a high fastball, low curveball approach, he ended up walking him after a seven-pitch battle. Trammell did not bite on Beede's curveballs while fouling off high mid-90s fastballs from the right-hander.
Now with two runners on base, Jose Marmolejos, the PCL's leader in batting average, slugging, and OPS at that time, swung through an inside fastball and was out in front with a beautiful fading changeup down and away off the plate from Beede. After taking a high heater from Beede, Marmolejos pulled a down and away changeup to the infield shift where the second baseman threw him out to end the inning.
After one inning of work, Beede flashed the velocity reaching 97 MPH on the radar gun and his curveball and changeup also flashed plus but his control was inconsistent, particularly his curveball. Unlike most of the young pitching prospects in the system, Beede is a slow worker on the mound, taking at least 15 seconds in-between pitches. It is always important to note the first inning because it sets the tone for the subsequent innings in terms of feel and the evolution of his pitches as the game goes on.
Beede's second inning of work was a laborious one having thrown 23 pitches this inning but without much going on aside from a one-out single. Jantzen White took the first three pitches and then hammered an off-speed pitch that looked like a changeup that leaked over the heart of the zone but was a routine flyout to the left fielder. Jose Godoy worked Beede hard with his plate appearance with a nine-pitch at-bat where Godoy fouled off three straight two-strike pitches. Godoy pulled a hanging changeup and hit a line-drive single to right field for a single.
With a runner on first base, Beede threw two straight sliders to Sam Travis but both missed off the plate away putting him behind in the count. After Travis fouled off a fastball at the knees, Travis was on time with the 2-1 fastball that Beede threw down and in off the plate but was hit right to the left fielder for the second out.
After yanking a first-pitch fastball to the dirt to start Jack Reinheimer, he threw a 96 MPH fastball in the bottom of the zone but right down the middle. Beede actually misexecuted as Tromp wanted the pitch to be high at the letters. After fouling off a fastball, Beede executed well on the fastball high in the zone to get Reinheimer to chase but the right-handed hitter did not bite. After Reinheimer fouled off a changeup, he was a bit late on a high fastball from Beede and hits it to the right fielder for the third out of the inning.
After two innings of work, the changeup that was Beede's best off-speed pitch was very inconsistent where he threw one good fading down in the zone but he hung the other changeups that he threw over the plate. His curveball was also inconsistent in terms of feel. He has a good feel for throwing the slider away from a right-handed hitter but its quality is fringy, in my opinion as it does not have the bite that I wanted. It looked more like the slider that Beede threw in 2019. The good thing so far is that he is indeed throwing his fastball hard and he has a solid feel to throw it in the zone so far.
Beede faced the top of the order for the second time in the third inning. He starts off Luis Liberato with two straight changeups that were nowhere close to the strike zone, the first one in the dirt and the second up and away off the plate. After taking two pitches that took the count to 3-1, Liberato fouled off three straight fastballs, Beede pulled the string on him and threw his best changeup in a short while for the strikeout and the first out of the inning.
Jake Hager pulled a slider thrown right down the middle foul towards the third base side to start off his at-bat. Hager was then out in front of a beautiful curveball thrown by Beede down and away at the knees. After taking a curveball in the dirt, Beede threw him the curveball once again that backed up but was nasty enough to buckle Hager's knees and get the called strikeout for the second out of the inning.
With back-to-back strikeouts, Beede's feeling good right now. He started off Dillon Thomas with a curveball that once again backed up on him as Tromp wanted it down and in but went down and away off the plate. The next pitch was another curveball but this time, it did not back up as it was thrown down and in off the plate that Thomas swung on top. That's now five straight curveballs thrown by Beede at this point. Expecting a curveball at this point, Thomas could not hold up his swing on the high fastball. After fouling off a curveball, Thomas then took three straight pitches that are off the plate and away from Thomas to earn the walk. The first one is a changeup that tailed too much while the next two are curveballs that once again backed up on Beede.
After a couple of pickoff attempts by Beede, the first pitch is a pitchout fastball but Tromp yanked the ball in the dirt and Thomas stole second base. Beede then stepped off and was met with some boos from the Tacoma crowd. Beede then threw a stellar changeup to Trammell to even the count. The 1-1 pitch is a changeup that Trammell hit hard up the middle but perfect positioning by the shortstop allowed him to throw out Trammell to end the inning.
Once again, Beede's feel for his changeup was on and off and while he is keeping his curveball down in the zone, it kept backing up on him but he did throw a couple of beautiful ones. The only slider that he threw in the inning was a meatball-worthy pitch. The fastball looked good and I thought that Beede would rely on it more but leaned on the curveball more as he started off the inning with a couple of good ones.
Jose Marmolejos could not wait to start off the bottom of the fourth inning and swung on the first pitch thrown by Beede, a down and away changeup from the right-hander, and pulled it to the first baseman for an easy groundout. With a quick out, Beede was helped by Jantzen White in full take mode as the first two pitches were called strikes thrown right in the heart of the zone. The first pitch in particular was a tasty one as it is a hanging slider that was left in the middle of the plate belt-high. White kept taking pitches as the next two pitches, a fastball down and away off the plate and a curveball in the dirt is taken for balls. After pulling a slider thrown right down the middle foul, White hit the 2-2 hanging changeup from Beede but the third baseman made a nice diving play for the second out of the inning.
With two outs in the inning, Jose Godoy fouled off the first pitch from Beede. After taking two straight pitches, a changeup that seemed to float away off the plate and a well-executed fastball up and away just off the plate. The 2-1 pitch from Beede is a changeup that Godoy was out in front but hits it pretty hard to fairly deep center field where Heliot Ramos covered the ground but misread the trajectory of the ball just a bit and just missed it with his glove. Ramos threw it back hard to center field but it's an error for the center fielder with just his second game in the Triple-A level at this point.
After 79 pitches, Beede reached his pitch limit and hit the showers. The baserunner allowed by Beede indeed score hence the unearned run allowed by him.