Sunday, February 23, 2014

Beede-Eyed Watch of Tyler


 Righthander rapper and sometimes Vanderbilt pitcher Tyler Beede, who the Blue Jays could not talk out of his commitment to the school after taking him in the first round, 21st overall, in the 2011 MLB draft, has done little to diminish talk of him being a top 10 pick in this year's draft through his first two starts of the NCAA season.
  The opposition has not been nationally ranked, but Beede opened the year with a five inning victory for the Commodores over the Long Beach State Dirtbags (no, we did not make that name up) in the opening series of the season.  Beede allowed but one bunt single and an unearned run, struck out 7, and walked only 1.
   This weekend, Beede helped Vandy get off to a 6-0 start by blanking lowly Illinois-Chicago over 6 innings, striking out 11, while allowing one hit and one walk.  
   Critics pointed to Beede's 63 walks last year, but he seems to be showing better command so far in this young collegiate season, giving up only two free passes in 11 innings.
   Beede was a 2nd team All-American as a sophomore last year, and set a school record with 14 wins.  Baseball America named him a pre-season All-American first teamer, joining fellow former 2011 Blue Jays draftees Luke Weaver of Florida State, and second teamer Aaron Nola of LSU (the Jays also drafted but failed to sign Florida prep leftie Andrew Suarez, who is turning heads at Miami in this early college season) .  Some pre-draft lists have Beede as the second ranked college righthander after Carlos Rodon.  Others, citing his control issues with Vandy and Team USA last summer, have him ranked lower in the first round.
   Beede was one of the top-ranked prep righthanders in the 2011 draft, but his stock fell slightly due to his commitment to Vanderbilt (Beede had contacted all New England-based scouts and asked them not to draft him - that may or may not have been a ploy to wind up getting drafted by a certain team).  His reported $3.5 million asking price also scared off some teams.  The Blue Jays reportedly upped their offer to $2.5 million minutes before the then-August signing deadline.  Whether or not he was worth the extra million, and even though the club turned Beede's comp pick into Marcus Stroman the following year, there is a hole in the mid to upper levels of the system as a result of failing to come to terms with Beede.  Outside of John Stilson, there are no picks from that draft who are anywhere near major-league ready, with lefthander Daniel Norris, taken in the 2nd round, the best of the group, and he will likely be spending the year at High A at that.

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