Mark Melancon

Prospect Giants acquired in Mark Melancon trade having lots of success

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Prospect Giants acquired in Mark Melancon trade having lots of success

PHOENIX -- The Mark Melancon trade proved to be a win-win for the Giants and the Braves, with one team getting nearly $20 million in salary relief and the other picking up a closer for a postseason run. But it was also a big win for one of the two pitchers the Giants got back in the deal.

Right-hander Tristan Beck grew up in Southern California and attended Stanford, where his brother currently is on the baseball team. The trade brought him much closer to home, allowed family members and college friends to watch him in San Jose, and put him in the California League, which has stops close to his hometown of Corona. 

"It was kind of overwhelming," Beck said Tuesday after an Arizona Fall League game. "There was a lot going on, but when it all settled, I was really happy to be coming back to the West Coast."

Beck already is familiar with Oracle Park, having gone to plenty of games while a student at Stanford. And he put that education to use while going over his background. 

"I grew up an Angels fan," he said, laughing. "I don't like the Dodgers one bit."

If all goes according to plan, the 23-year-old will soon get to face them. Beck has a 3.29 ERA through four starts in the Fall League, where he's teammates with Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos. After the trade, Beck posted a 2.27 ERA in six starts for San Jose, striking out more than a batter per inning and allowing just one homer. 

"When I came over they made the suggestion that I start using my four-seam up in the zone a little bit more and it really paid dividends," Beck said. "It felt a little bit more natural for me. Sometimes I struggle to keep the ball down at the knees, so letting the four-seam fly at the letters just led to a lot of success and let the curveball play off of that."

The curveball, a big 12-6 bender, is his out pitch and pairs well with a low 90s fastball. Beck is getting more comfortable with a two-seamer and has started throwing a slider in the Fall League. The raw stuff is not overwhelming, but scouts who watched Beck on Tuesday noted that he's advanced in his approach and simply knows how to pitch. 

That's always been the case for a right-hander who was drafted in the fourth round in 2018. Beck was so dominant at Corona High that he was projected as a first-rounder, but he advised teams that his commitment to Stanford was strong and he would not be signing. 

"I never thought I was going to be in that position, to be honest, but at the end of the day the draw to go to Stanford was just too great," said Beck, who has a mother and sister who are alums of the school. "I don't regret it one bit. I went to Stanford and I'm really happy with the time I spent there and what I got to do with teammates there.

"It was a good enough experience to propel me here. I'm in a good situation here."

[RELATED: Bochy sends Bishop heartfelt tweet after mother's death]

Beck was dealt to an organization without much starting depth at the upper levels of the minors, and he should be in position to start next season in Double-A. After making it back to the West Coast because of a deal that went through minutes before the deadline, Beck could find himself in Richmond, Virginia next April.

But that's no problem.

"You know what," he said, smiling. "It's Sacramento after that."

MLB playoffs full of former Giants looking for World Series title

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MLB playoffs full of former Giants looking for World Series title

Unless you count Joe Biagini, who left the Giants as a minor league Rule 5 pick and ended up finding success in Toronto, there are no old friends on the two best teams in the Majors.

The Astros and Dodgers might not have any former Giants headed to the postseason, but plenty of others do. You'll see them as you watch games this month, with some familiar faces throwing pretty big October innings. From Yusmeiro Petit to Drew Pomeranz, the MLB playoffs are littered with faces that used to call Oracle Park home.

Here are former Giants looking to win World Series this month

Mark Melancon excited to face Giants for first time since Braves trade

Mark Melancon excited to face Giants for first time since Braves trade

ATLANTA -- As the Braves' relief pitchers finished their sprints in right field Friday afternoon, a pack of Giants relievers started a jog around the warning track. Mark Melancon walked over and met his former teammates, but the hugs lost a little steam as he made his way through. Eventually, Melancon was standing around with just Will Smith, catching up a few hours before they faced each other. 

"The first half (of the group) I knew all the guys," Melancon said, smiling. "The second half it was all new guys."

The Giants just about have a completely new bullpen since Melancon's last appearance. Melancon has a new situation, too. As the Giants limp to the finish, their former marquee free-agent addition will try to close out a National League East title with the Braves. 

Melancon, mostly a mid-innings man for the Giants this season, is the closer for one of the National League's powerhouses. He's perfect in 11 save opportunities in Atlanta. That may come as a surprise to fans who watched him for two and a half seasons in San Francisco. It does not at all seem out of place for Melancon. 

"That's where I think I'm best," he said of the ninth inning. "I knew that. That was easy for me to see."

Melancon never lost that confidence in San Francisco, even as an arm injury that popped up in his first week with the Giants robbed him of much of his old effectiveness. He had a 3.67 ERA with the Giants but totaled just 15 saves. 

The Giants got out of the final year-plus of a $62 million deal and acquiring two pitching prospects in the minutes before the trade deadline. Melancon ended up being the real winner in the deal. He has found himself closing for a team that can clinch the division Friday night. 

"I'm so impressed with these guys," he said of the Braves. "They're 22-year-olds acting like they're 35 as far as maturity level. It's really impressive."

[RELATED: Giants' Madison Bumgarner's road struggles continue ahead of free agency]

Melancon is excited about heading back to the postseason, although he credited his former team for never losing sight of that goal. He said he appreciated that the Giants never went full rebuild, and he looks back on his time in San Francisco fondly. 

"I had a great time. It's always about the people," he said. "It was a great two and a half years with great people ... that was our home for two and a half years and it was awesome."