The Royals had the opportunity to take an injured pitcher last season in the draft, but like most teams passed on Standford’s Tristan Beck due to his stress fracture and likely his leverage as a sophomore-eligible pitcher. While the early rankings on the draft think he is someone the Royals could land somewhere with their picks in the low 30s, I personally think he has a shot to be their selection at 18.
Starting with Beck’s stuff prior to the injury, he worked in the low 90s anywhere from 91-94 mph that can play up due to the sinking action and his ability to locate it on either side of the plate. As a freshman, this was evident with Beck walking fewer than 3 per 9 innings and allowing just two home runs in his 14 starts over 83 innings. While the 6-4, 190 lbs pitcher didn’t pitch last season, his arm appeared strong in his first time out in ’18, the two-seam version shows off sinking action in the low 90s while he runs his four-seamers up to 95 and has been rumored to be as high as 96-97 mph during offseason workouts. on the fastball is mirrored in the changeup with the pitch having good fade action while showing comfort in throwing the pitch regularly.
Alongside the fastball is a changeup that he’s comfortable throwing regularly that like the fastball features sinking action with good fade. That pitch stands well with his curve and that he’s also able to manipulate with the 11-5 break on the curve with a big slow break in the mid 70s. Not done with just a curveball, the righty tosses a wipeout slider that has a tighter, sweeping break that plays well with the arsenal breaking away from right-handed hitters. This ability to throw four different pitches comfortably with command give him an advantage over so many pitchers that you will find in most drafts. In addition, Beck shows a feel for sequencing as he was able to pitch to an All-American level as a freshman and despite a year layoff he limited Cal State Fullerton, the 11th ranked preseason team in the country, to just one run in six innings.
The Royals at present don’t have a lot of quality pitching in their system, but the addition of Beck could give them a pitcher who is able to work to the front of a rotation in the future, becoming a possible #2 or #3 starter in relatively short order. Drafted twice previously, if he’s able to stay healthy for the entire season while showing his arsenal then the pitcher will be drafted for the third time in his baseball career, but finally with enough financial weight to join the professional baseball ranks.