Team's top Draft pick introduced during first visit to AT&T Park
SAN FRANCISCO -- The jittery, can't-keep-the-legs-from-shaking feeling that Tyler Beede experienced on Draft Day last month returned after he took his seat at an AT&T Park podium Friday afternoon.
This time, it's not a matter of where Beede is going, but rather when he'll be back along the shores of McCovey Cove, where the Giants' 2014 first-round pick was Thursday afternoon, a few days after agreeing to terms with the club on a $2.65 million contract.
The 21-year-old said he was giddy while touring AT&T Park for the first time Thursday.
"Everything's really happening fast," Beede said at his introductory press conference. "I was just out in the dugout, getting a few interviews done. It was the first time I've ever been to the stadium. I was kind of simultaneously looking around, taking in the sights, being a tourist here for a little bit.
"It's very exciting to be here. I couldn't be happier, for sure."
Beede, a Vanderbilt product, was a first-round selection of the Blue Jays in 2011 but opted for college, as he turned down an offer that would have exceeded $2 million.
Three years later, it appears the decision is paying off, literally. And the Giants are happily surprised to have the rights to him.
"We were very fortunate Beede was still there," assistant general manager Bobby Evans said shortly after the Draft. "We didn't necessarily think he would be. We still had some good names on the board, but we were very happy he was still there.
"For the most part, whenever you get a guy you really like No. 1, the rest [of the Draft] is somewhat of a sigh of relief."
A sigh of relief is just what Beede felt after being selected by the Giants.
"It was sort of a weight lifted off my back," Beede said of being selected. "I was very happy I was with the Giants, because it was a great fit and that's really what I wanted the whole time -- for it to be a great fit with a great organization like the Giants."
After turning down the Blue Jays, this press conference was three years in the making for Beede. It was time well spent, he said. He spoke highly of both the opponents and environments he faced in the Southeastern Conference, the country's top collegiate baseball league, and said those challenges, along with Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin's tutelage, have made him a much better prospect.
A native of Auburn, Mass., Beede made 52 appearances (47 starts) in his three-year college career, compiling a 23-14 record and 3.56 ERA. He recorded 287 strikeouts and issued 148 walks in 286 collegiate innings. He was 8-8 with a 4.05 ERA with 116 strikeouts in 113 1/3 innings this past season for the Commodores.
Beede's "pure stuff," along with his apparent potential for further development, intrigued San Francisco. At 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, Beede could conceivably add bulk. That could add force to his fastball, which regularly travels at 92-94 mph and can reach 97 mph, as well as his curveball and changeup, which is considered excellent.
"You have to look at the overall stuff, you have to look at the athleticism, you have to look at his arm speed and delivery," Giants scouting director John Barr said of Beede after the Draft. "One thing I do know is that this organization, with [player personnel director] Dick Tidrow and the coaching staff, develops pitchers and develops them well."
Asked for comparisons to himself, Beede mentioned the offspeed repertoire of the Cardinals' Michael Wacha and the demeanors of Giants pitchers Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong.
"If I can pitch like them down the road, that'd be pretty special," Beede quipped.
The road back to AT&T Park for Beede begins in Arizona after this weekend, where he'll begin the organization's Draft-pick pitching protocol. Evans said there's no rush to rebuild Beede's arm strength and endurance from its recent rest, given his workload last season at Vanderbilt.
"Moving forward is all about preparing myself for each step," Beede said. "Whatever level I go to, the goal is just execute pitching plans while I'm there, throw quality pitches and be myself so that by the time I get to the big leagues, I'm prepared to stay there for the long haul."
Ryan Hood is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryanhood19.