Tristan Beck | RHP
The 21-year-old Beck grew up in Southern California and, two years ago, he joined Mike Mussina and Cal Quantrill (Paul’s kid) as the only true freshmen to start Opening Day for Stanford. He had a stellar freshman year (2.48 ERA and 76/26 K/BB in 83 innings) and was a top 2017 draft prospect as a draft-eligible sophomore, but a stress fracture in his back sidelined him all year. The Yankees selected him with their 28th round pick in last year’s draft but didn’t sign him. Beck returned to the mound this spring and has a 2.92 ERA with a 46/16 K/BB in 52 innings so far.
Even before the injury, Beck was a command over stuff guy, and his stuff has mostly returned following the back injury. He’ll sit 90-92 mph with his fastball, and because he’s a long and lanky at 6-foot-4 and 165 lbs., there’s plenty of room to dream on him adding velocity under pro instruction. Beck’s best pitch is a knockout changeup, probably the best in the draft class, and he also spins both a slider and curveball. There have been times this spring when his fastball was more 89-90 mph and his breaking stuff flattened out, however. Beck really knows how to pitch and set hitters up — that’s not something he’ll lose to the back injury — and he commands the ball well to both sides of the plate. The back injury ensures Beck will under the microscope each time out from now to the draft.
MLB.com ranked Beck as the 27th best prospect in the draft class while Baseball America ranked him 30th. Keith Law (subs. req’d) did not include him in his top 50 draft prospects. The Yankees hold the 23rd overall pick. The fact the Yankees drafted Beck last year tells you there is some level of interest here, even though they drafted him knowing full well they wouldn’t have the draft pool space to meet his reported bonus demands. Beck’s stuff is good and his pitching know-how is top notch. If the Yankees are comfortable with the medicals, they could trust their player development folks to get Beck to add some velocity, which would really send his prospect stock soaring. That would be quite a risk to take in the first round though.