San Francisco Giants: Pair of Pitchers Represent in All-Star Futures Game


The first half of the Major League Baseball season ended on Sunday, and most of the attention shifted to Tuesday’s All-Star Game, where the best players from the American League and National League will match up to see who will have homefield advantage in the World Series. But the All-Star festivities in Cincinnati began on Sunday, when the best young up-and-comers took part in the All-Star Futures Games.

The San Francisco Giants were represented on both the United States and the World team, with a pitcher on each squad.

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United States’ manager Ken Griffey, Sr. called on the Giants’ young right-hander Tyler Beede, 2014’s first-round pick, to come in to start the fourth inning with the US leading 3-1. Beede, wearing number 11, survived a scare with his first batter, as Cincinnati Reds’ farmhand Yorman Rodriguez flew out to the warning track in deep right-center field, nearly benefiting from the great carry hitters get in the Great American Ball Park.

Beede’s second matchup came against Kansas City Royals’ prospect Balbino Fuenmayor, who was retired on the second pitch, a groundball to third after he swung through a nasty slider on the first pitch. Gary Sanchez, a New York Yankees’ product, followed with a double in to the left-center field gap on a 1-0 slider that hung a bit too much. Beede worked out of the jam by getting Renato Nunez, from the Oakland Athletics’ organization, to sky a lazy flyball into right field.

Overall, Beede worked the one inning to earn a hold, and looked very good doing so. He induced a number of swings-and-misses, spotting his slider, which hung around the high-80’s, down and away to right-handers. His fastball was in the low-90’s, and he showed pretty good control of it. He also showed how he has been working to rely more on hitters getting themselves out, rather than trying to strike everyone out.

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Beede is currently with the Giants’ Double-A affiliate, the Richmond Flying Squirrels, after starting the season at High-A with the San Jose Giants. With San Jose, Beede went 2-2 with a 2.24 ERA and 1.146 WHIP before earning the promotion. He hasn’t been as dominating in Double-A, as he has a 2-3 record and 3.86 ERA and 1.179 WHIP. He is holding opponents to a stingy .213 average, but his walks have gone up, from 1.5 per nine innings at San Jose to 3.6 in Richmond.

Beede’s former teammate in San Jose, Keury Mella, also pitched on Sunday, but wasn’t as successful as Beede. The 2011 International Free Agent signee entered the game to start the sixth inning, and allowed a single to Kyle Waldrop, a Reds’ prospect, to lead things off. Aaron Judge, another Yankees’ farmhand, lined out to right field on a 96-mph fastball for the first out. Matt Olson was the next batter, and he lined a single into right field on a 3-0 pitch.

Mella was removed after the Olson hit, and the next pitcher, Frankie Montas of the Chicago White Sox, allowed both inherited runners to score. So overall, Mella finished his day recording just one out, and allowing two hits and two runs. He threw 12 pitches, but only five for strikes.

Mella threw a lot of curveballs, showing a big break, and pretty good command of the pitch. His fastball hung around the mid-90’s, touching 96, and his command of the pitch was okay, but not spectacular. His changeup offered a nice dip in velocity, about 10 miles slower than the fastball, but he only threw it twice, both times for a ball.

In High-A this season, Mella is 4-2 in 13 starts, and owns a 3.29 ERA and 1.206 WHIP. He has struck out 61 batters in 63 innings, compared to 22 walks.

The United States team would win 10-1.

Beede and Mella are both highly heralded pitchers in the Giants’ system, and both gave strong glimpses into the future on Sunday. Beede looked great, and even though Mella didn’t pitch great, it’s easy to see from his stuff why the team has high hopes for him.

Next: Giants Experiencing Shift in Bullpen