Tristan Beck, RHP
DOB: June 24, 1996
BATS: R / THROWS: R
ACQUIRED: Trade with Atlanta (Mark Melancon for Beck and Dan Winkler)
ORIGINALLY DRAFTED: 4th Round (#112), 2018
LAST LEVEL: High-A
GiantFutures Ranks: #4 Starting Pitcher
Performance: Beck’s 2019 looks like a textbook “Change of Scenery” time. Beck’s first full season with the Braves had not been starting off well, with a 5.65 ERA on Atlanta’s High-A squad, missing two months with an injury, and posting a 4.00 ERA in the rooke Gulf Coast League in two rehab starts. The Braves traded him at the deadline to the Giants, and Beck posted a 2.27 ERA in his final six starts of the season in San Jose.
The Giants took advantage of Beck’s health, as he averaged nearly 6 innings a start with San Jose, but he average only four innings and an out while in Florida. Remarkably, Beck had nearly the same number of innings with each of the High-A teams (36.2 IP with the Fire Frogs, 35.2 in San Jose), and his counting stats were very similar: 39 SO with the Fire Frogs, 37 with the Giants, and 14 BB with the Fire Frogs, 13 with the Giants. The big difference was hits allowed, as he had a .313 average allowed in Florida, but just a .250 average allowed in San Jose.
Beck reportedly had a real good camp in instructional league, and was hitting 95 on his fastball, and had really improved his changeup.
Strengths and Weaknesses: Beck does not have an overpowering repetoire, and works mostly off of a mid-90’s fastball that has been getting strong as Beck has gotten healthier, and a slow curveball in the high 70’s. The Giants got him to start working with pitch sequencing, and working on tunneling his fastball and curveball, and so far that has played out nicely. He also works with a slider and changeup that are average.
Beck’s major troubles are his health, which started in college with a stress fracture in his back, and another injury in the spring of 2019. His velocity slowly ticked up as he got healthier in 2019, which bodes well for his potential. Back injuries are certainly tricky and have long-lasting effects, though.
2021 Outlook: Beck will likely be headed to Double-A Richmond, going to where he would have spent the start of the 2020 season. Beck turns 25 in the middle of the season, and he might get pushed up to Sacramento quickly if he starts the season well.
Future Profile: Beck’s 4th round draft profile was considered a steal that the Braves took advantage of due to his injury, and he’s got the ability to be a mid-rotation starter so long as he stays healthy and he keeps at least the solid command he showed in 2019. That said, pitching and health have never gone well together. Beck’s stuff is not overpowering, so he’ll need that command to stay a starter, though the bullpen might not be a bad floor for him, for his back’s health and his ability to keep the fastball a tick higher than it currently is.