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Phillies 2014 Draft Preview - Tyler Beede, RHP

Beede was selected in the 2011 First Round, but opted to go to Vanderbilt in hopes of improving his draft status. Beede's now routinely talked about as a top 10 pick this year. Is that deserved?

*Not actually Tyler Beede
*Not actually Tyler Beede
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Beede checks a whole lot of boxes as a Pitcher. Physically, he's 6'4", 215 lbs with a frame that could add maybe another 10 pounds of muscle with no issues. All that screams inning eater. Now, is he a top of the rotation inning eater becomes the question. There's a bit of a wide range of outcomes possible here. His raw stuff flashes Ace potential. He throws two different fastballs, a 4-seamer with good movement and mid-90's speed that he's comfortable moving around to change eye-level. He also shows a 2-seamer that he uses primarily to left handers. The 2-seamer has strong arm-side tail and works in the low to mid 90's. His 2-seamer induces a ton of grounders and he could probably use it more often, as it can be swing and miss. Both Fastballs could easily end up being Plus or better pitches.

He backs those two Fastballs with a pair of breaking pitches that can use a little refinement, but also flash above-average or plus. Thie first is a Curve ball with swing and miss potential, when the pitch is on and Beede has command, he can leave hitters looking helpless flailing at this 80 mph offering. We haven'rt even talked about what could be Beede's best pitch, his Change-Up. He throws it in the high 70's (about a 12-15 mph difference from his fastball, and 2-3 mph slower than his Curve) and it moves on two planes with good vertical sinking action and it tails to his pitching arm side. All of this sounds fantastic right? Well, it is. What isn't fantastic is Beede's release point. Overall his delivery is picture perfect. He has a fluid, easy delivery that doesn't look max effort. However, his release point is a bit transient. If he can iron out his release point issue, he's an almost certain Ace and he'd be strongly challenging Rodon for the top spot in the draft. Rodon is where he is on Draft boards because he has excellent Command, which allows his stuff to play up (and he's a Lefty), if Beede can get his Command in order, look out, he'll be stellar.

Just for the sake of reference, in 2013 Beede struck out over 9 hitters per 9 innings. He also walked 5.6 per 9. Prepare to get a teeny bit excited: In 2 starts so far in 2014, Tyler Beede has 18 K's and just 2 BB's (keep in mind, if he's that good all year, you shouldn't bother getting excited as there's no way he'll last until the 7th pick). Now he's dominated the Long Beach State Dirtbags (actual team name)and the U of Illinois - Chicago Jerkballs (fake team name, their real name isn't as fun, so I took some poetic liberties there). Beede's first real test will be this Friday against the Stanford Robber Barons, ok, ok, Cardinal. If he maintains anything close to that success against a team widely known for stressing contact, usually with a fairly good eye, that will be a very good sign that he is getting his Command in order.

As you can see from the video below (where the camera work is occasionally as random as Beede's release point), Beede throws from a 3/4 arm slot, but can get a bit more overhand on occasion. His mechanics look nice and repeatable, but he release the ball from different spots on most pitches. This video is of the College National Team from last July and is the most recent video I could find. Not worth talking too much about it, as it's over 6 months old and a lot may have changed in that time, but it's nice to see what these guys do and how they work. The video is fairly short (video from WJR5), but you can see both the potential and the fairly inconsistent command issues.

Of course, Young Beedah is also a rapper in his spare time and, dare I say, he's pretty good, actually. I mean, in the video below he basically just ripped Macklemore's music and rapped his own tune over it, but he's pretty clear and doesn't stumble over his words or mumble. Perhaps a plan B. Perhaps one day he can work with DJ Hey Beef (Trevor May) and they can be the first pro pitcher rap duo.

Okay, now that I got that out of my system, a lot remains to be seen on Beede. The tools are there and if you're willing to take the risk that his Command never fully develops you could get rewarded with one of the best Starters in baseball. I'll probably do a post late in the College season to talk about guys who might be available at 7 and maybe Beede has elevated himself out of that discussion by then, but if he hasn't we'll take a look at his chances and the Phillies chances of gettin ghim and fixing whatever delivery glitches remain.