The Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball announced Friday that they’ve signed right-hander Tyler Beede to a one-year contract. Beede himself announced the deal as well in a video message to his new club’s fan base (Twitter link). It’ll be the first stint overseas for Beede, a former first-round pick and top prospect with MLB’s own San Francisco Giants.
Now 29 years old, Beede was actually a two-time first-round pick, declining to sign out of high school in 2011 after the Blue Jays selected him with the No. 21 pick and then ultimately signing with San Francisco, who selected him out of Vanderbilt with the 14th pick three years later.
Beede ranked among the game’s top 100 prospects after a strong 2016 showing in Double-A, and he made his big league debut in 2018, tossing 7 2/3 innings but yielding seven runs in that small sample. He received a lengthier look in 2019 but was uncharacteristically homer-prone (1.69 HR/9) — a common trend among pitchers that season due to changes to the composition of the baseball. Beede logged 117 innings with the Giants in 2019 but yielded a 5.08 ERA.
A flexor strain and UCL strain early in spring training 2020 served as a portent for eventual Tommy John surgery, and Beede was limited to just 49 1/3 innings in 2021 (just one in the Majors) while finishing off his rehab from that procedure. After a rocky start to his 2022 season — five runs on 14 hits and six walks with four strikeouts in 9 2/3 frames — the Giants designated the now-out-of-options Beede for assignment and lost him to the Pirates on a waiver claim.
Things didn’t go much better for Beede in Pittsburgh, where he stumbled to a 5.23 ERA in 51 2/3 innings, fanning just 14.8% of his opponents against a higher-than-average 9.7% walk rate. The Pirates designated Beede for assignment themselves in September and this time successfully passed him through waivers. The right-hander became a minor league free agent at season’s end, and he’ll now look to turn his fortunes around in Japan.
Though Beede doesn’t have much in the way of big league success, he was a clearly touted arm dating back to his days as an amateur and throughout the early portion of his professional career. He carries an unsightly 5.40 career ERA in parts of five Triple-A seasons, with particularly rough showings in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League in both 2018 and 2021. Beede won’t be 30 until May, so he’s still young enough to parlay some NPB success into a big league return, as we’ve seen plenty of pitchers do in recent years.