While Giants top pitching prospect Tyler Beede rehabs at the team's spring training facility in Scottsdale, Ariz. from a season-ending groin injury, he would much rather be in Sacramento with his River Cats teammates or quite possibly in San Francisco with the Giants.
But now that Beede will continue his season in the upcoming Arizona Fall League, the Giants' top pitching prospect wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
"I’m super excited," Beede said on learning he would join the Scottsdale Scorpions. "From what I’ve been told, it’s a super fun experience. I can’t wait to get on a mound and compete again. That’s what I’m most excited for."
Beede officially found out from the Giants on Monday that he will pitch in the AFL this season. Rosters were unveiled on Tuesday. Games begin on Oct. 10 and the right-hander is just one of six Giants prospects who will showcase their talents in the desert.
"I was hoping to be able to pitch in the Fall League, because my thought was I was missing so much time at the end of the season I would have to make it up somehow, some way, and I wanted to so I could keep my arm in a strong position to potentially pitch more innings next year," Beede said. "I’ve just been kind of waiting to see who else would be there, who else would be on my team, who I’d be playing with and against. A lot of those guys I do know."
Year in and year out, the AFL produces some of the top talent in all of the minor leagues, serving as a preview of major league stars for years to come. When asked if facing the top young hitters in baseball immediately excites Beede, he was quick to answer.
"Absolutely," Beede said with a spark in his voice. "That’s one of the best parts about the Fall League. To be able to go out there and showcase your stuff against those guys, it’s only going to make everyone better."
The Giants' top pick in the 2014 MLB Draft joined a long list of Giants promising players to go down with injury when his season came to an end after 19 starts. No time is good for an injury, but when it happened was especially frustrating for the Vanderbilt product.
Coming off a start in which he allowed no earned runs in seven innings pitched on July 19, Beede's groin felt tight during warmups in his next start, but it was nothing out of the ordinary. And then, there was a pop.
"At the time I was pretty bummed. I was feeling really good, so I had kind of felt or anticipated that I’d get called up possibly soon," Beede now admits. "For those first couple days I didn’t want to, but I allowed myself to not be too happy. I was a little pissed off. There’s never a great timing for an injury, but I was certainly thinking, 'Man, why did it have to happen at this point.'"
Since nearly the end of July, Beede has been in Scottsdale rehabbing. Only two weeks after the injury he was back in the gym working out his upper body and core strength, and is now incorporating his lower body. This Friday though will be the biggest test yet in his recovery.
Beede is scheduled to throw off a mound for the first time in over a month with his groing "feeling great."
In what has been a tough situation, Beede is beyond pleased with how his body has responded throughout the rehab process.
"Everything’s feeling great. I’m just progressing and preparing for fall ball," Beede said. "It’s been a really positive situation and just been able to get my body under me and prepare for this next couple months."
The No. 1 goal for Beede headed into any season is to stay healthy for the year. Unfortunately, he fell short in that goal this season in Sacramento, but that won't change his mindset in what will be his second chance to prove himself in 2017.
"That will be my big goal for the Fall League," Beede said on staying healthy. "Obviously the concern with this is re-injury. I’m not going to focus on it when I go out there and pitch. I’m in a position now where I’m confident that it’s healthy and 100 percent.
"I just wanna go out there and pitch and get into a good rhythm and work on things."
The 24-year-old will compete for a roster spot with the Giants next season. In reality, that process could easily start as a Scorpion.