For former first-round pick Tyler Beede, it's time to step up.
The No. 14 overall pick in 2014, Beede is coming off two straight disappointing minor league seasons and has yet to contribute at the big league level.
But, so far in two spring training outings for the Giants, things are looking up for the 25-year-old. In four innings, Beede has struck out five and allowed one earned run.
It's a small sample size, but Beede has impressed Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow.
"He looked great," Krukow said on Tuesday on KNBR 680. "We saw him the other night on the Friday night ballgame and he threw two innings, struck out four and he looked like he was in control of his arm slot. We never could say that last year. He had a seven ERA last year. You gotta try to do that. That's hard to do. But he looks like he's a first-round pick this year, ready to make a contribution."
To be specific, Beede had a 7.05 ERA in 33 appearances at Triple-A Sacramento last season. When he got a brief cup of coffee with the Giants in April, he allowed seven earned runs in 7.2 innings.
The Giants drafted Beede as a starter out of Vanderbilt, but as he struggled last season, he was moved to the bullpen in Sacramento.
"The big decision is, what do you do with him?" Krukow asked. "Do you put him back in the rotation? Do you leave him in the bullpen? Right now, what I saw on Friday night, he's got two pitches. Fastball and a curveball. And the problem last year was he couldn't rely on getting the curveball over when he got behind in the count, he just didn't have that type of command. It was a good one, it was pretty, but could you throw it for a strike 3-1, 3-2, 3-0?
"If you're a two-pitch guy, you have to be able to do that. But the other thing, too, is he couldn't spot the fastball. He was just trying to throw it for a strike, so in his mind, it wasn't a matter of 'Can I put it on the outside corner? Can I put it above the hands?' He was just trying to throw a strike and you can not exist in the world of the big leagues with that mentality."
Against the Reds on Friday, Beede allowed one earned run and struck out four batters over two innings of relief.
"What I saw Friday, I saw him spot the fastball on the outside corners, I saw him come up above the hands with the fastball and finish guys off," Krukow said. "I saw him throw first-pitch curveballs that were just filthy dirty that nobody even swung at them. So you got two pitches like that and he's throwing velocity, he was between 96 and 98 miles per hour, and it was live, it was popping out of his hands, that to me is exciting. To gather command of it and to use your pitches in any count, that's progress. Progress really to where you have to start considering him for a job."
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In late February, Beede spoke to NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic and said his plan coming into camp was to throw the four-seam fastball, curveball and changeup.
"If he goes back to Triple-A and they put him in the rotation, then he has to learn another speed, a changeup," Krukow said. "But what I've seen with his arm slot and his command of it, I don't think that's going to be much of a challenge for him. I'm pretty excited about this kid."
Stay tuned to see if Beede impresses the Giants' coaching staff enough to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster or if he goes to Sacramento for a third straight season.