It's an arm bonanza at the top of Jonathan Mayo's latest mock draft, where previously profiled Alex Jackson (#4) and Dee Gordon's brother Nick (#5) are the only position players projected in his top 10. Tyler Beede is the name Mayo has going to the Mariners at #6, though Beede has been seen all over the first round in the latest mock drafts. Mayo himself admits things get a little murky after the top 5, saying "There's a general consensus about the top five names, if not the order. This is where it starts getting iffy. Beede is one of many in the mix."
Keith Law, for example, has Beede falling all the way to the 24th pick in his latest mock draft, projecting the Mariners to take Redmond High product Michael Conforto, an outfielder from Oregon State instead. Mayo has Conforto going #12 to the Brewers, saying some believe him to be the best college hitter in the draft class. For now, let's examine Tyler Beede.
Tyler Beede, RHP, Vanderbilt
Now Beede's fastball touches 96-97, and while he still doesn't rely on overwhelming heat, Beede uses lots of movement on his fastball to set himself apart. His four-seamer predictably sits a little higher in velocity than his two-seamer, which he uses as to miss more bats, especially against lefties. His other two offerings are a 12-6 curve that sits in the low 80s, and a plus change that sits between 78-82 mph.
This tends to be the case with a lot of power arms in college, but Beede has been one of the worst pitchers, by results, on the Vanderbilt staff. Beede's 3.42 ERA ranks well behind fellow rotation mates Walker Buehler and Tyler Ferguson, the former of which also strikes out more and walks out less with a 2.31 ERA. But Buehler isn't supposed to be selected until several rounds after Beede, thanks to the future plus plus potential of Beede's secondary offerings and the movement on his heater.
Beede is nasty, but command has been an issue for him as he's increased velocity, according to Keith Law. In 84.1 innings this year, Beede has walked 36 batters, but he's also hit 10. When Beede is on, his stuff is as good as any college arm in the draft, and each team's evaluation of him will depend on whether or not they think they can iron out his issues. There's undeniably ace potential within Beede, but his path to the top won't be the smoothest of the arms on the 2014 draft class.
See the video at the top to see Beede's mechanics and secondary offerings.