Giants' Beede already comfortable in first AT&T Park visit

Giants' Beede already comfortable in first AT&T Park visit
July 11, 2014, 4:45 pm
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Tyler Beede (6-foot-4, 215 lbs.) finished his sophomore season at Vanderbilt with a 14–1 record, a 2.32 ERA and 103 strikeouts. (AP)

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants first round draft pick Tyler Beede visited AT&T Park for the first time in his life on Friday, signing his first professional baseball contract.

Admittedly, he was a bit of a tourist, looking in awe around the stadium he hopes to one day call home. But the 21-year old looked natural and poised donning his Giants jersey and fielding questions in his first press conference.

"I was overwhelmed with excitement," Beede said, recalling draft night. "I was very happy it was with the Giants because it's a great fit, and that's what I wanted all along."

"Nice kid, sharp kid, excited to get things going," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's always good to get a great arm like he has, and it seems like he's got a great head.

"We're excited to have him."

[NEWS: Giants sign first-round pick Beede]

Beede, drafted out of high school by the Blue Jays, was the only 2011 first-round pick not to sign, opting instead for a college career at Vanderbilt. 

"There's certainly pressures and expectations that come with (that decision)," he said. "But those experiences really help you going forward."

Beede credited his college coaches and the difficult lineups in the SEC and ACC in preparing him for his ascent through the minors.

It's clear his individual struggles at the end of the College World Series (more earned runs than innings pitched in final three outings) still sting, even though his Vanderbilt career ended with the school's first ever championship. 

But as it worked out, his three years in college improved Beede's first-round selection by seven slots -- and moved him four ahead of former teammate Sonny Gray, who was drafted 18th overall by the A's in 2011.

"Obviously Oakland is a bit of a rival," said Beede, who plans to lean on Gray for offseason tips when the two are in Nashville. "But once I'm playing for this squad, I don't think he'll give me too much advice."

Beede sports a 90- to 95-mph fastball with a changeup and curveball, and says he is like Michael Wacha in that he prefers to work off the change. He also equated his pitching-to-contact style to Giants starters Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong. 

"If I can pitch like them down the road," Beede said, "that would be pretty special."

Beede will spend the weekend in San Francisco after taking in his first Orange Friday, and the right-hander will head to Arizona after Sunday's game to start his professional career. He'll start a pitching plan and get back into throwing mode with the Rookie-level Arizona Giants, and Bochy said he has the chance to advance to the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes -- the Giants' Class Short-Season A team of the Northwest League -- this year.

"Whatever level I go to," Beede said of his personal intentions, "just executing pitch plans, throwing quality pitches and be myself so that time I do get to the big leagues, I'm prepared to stay there for the long haul."

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