Giants & A’s

Matt Kawahara, Bay Area baseball beat writer

Giants select right-hander Beede, A's take infielder Chapman in first round of MLB Draft

06/05/2014 7:40 PM

10/08/2014 11:59 AM

Both Bay Area baseball teams dipped into the college ranks with their first-round picks in Thursday's MLB Draft, with the Giants selecting right-handed pitcher Tyler Beede out of Vanderbilt and the A's taking infielder Matt Chapman out of Cal State Fullerton.

The Giants used the 14th overall pick on Beede, a 21-year-old with a mid-90s fastball and two breaking pitches who in 2013 was one of three finalists for the Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation's top college player.

Beede was also taken in the first round (21st overall) by the Toronto Blue Jays coming out of high school in 2011 but chose to attend Vanderbilt. He went 8-7 with a 3.20 ERA this spring after winning 14 games with a 2.10 ERA in 2013, but increased his strikeouts and has lowered his walk rate from 5.3 per nine innings in 2013 to 3.9 per nine this spring.

"His control has continued to actually improve some this year," John Barr, the Giants' assistant general manager of scouting, said on a conference call. "But at the same time, you can't teach the arm that he has. We think as he continues to mature, his command should get better, continue to improve."

Barr said while he doesn't like to put timetables on prospects, Beede is a player who "has a chance of moving quickly" through the Giants' system. Barr cited the Giants' track record of developing pitchers -- Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner were all first-round picks between 2002 and 2007 -- and described Beede as "a kid who's going to work hard and become a quality starter someday."

First, the 6-foot-4, 215-pound native of Auburn, Mass., is set to pitch against Stanford in the Super Regional round of the NCAA tournament this morning. Beede is the first player taken in the first round out of Vanderbilt since 2011, when the A's selected right-hander Sonny Gray. According to his biography on Vanderbilt's website, rapping is Beede's "second-best talent."

The A's, meanwhile, used their first-round pick Thursday on Cal State Fullerton third baseman Matt Chapman, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound junior. Chapman batted .312 with six homers and a team-high 48 RBIs this spring, but told reporters on a conference call he considers his defense to be his main strength.

"I would say I was the best (defensive) third baseman in college baseball (in 2014)," said Chapman. "That's my personal opinion. I know my arm strength and glove can change a game defensively and help my team out."

Chapman spent the summer of 2013 playing for the U.S. Collegiate National Team and also made two appearances as a pitcher, opening eyes with his arm strength, but said he considers himself strictly an infielder at the professional level. A Trabuco Canyon native, Chapman said he grew up following the Los Angeles Angels -- "But it's never too late to change your favorite team, right?"

Chapman said he worked out for the A's at the Coliseum several days ago and said of the organization: "I know the A's play old-school, hard-nosed baseball and they play as a team, and that's exactly how I go about my business. I think it's a great fit."

The A's have now drafted a position player with their first pick in six of the last seven drafts, with Gray the lone exception.

With the No. 1 overall pick Thursday, the Houston Astros selected Brady Aiken, a left-handed pitcher out of Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego. The Miami Marlins also took a high school pitcher with the second overall pick, selecting right-hander Tyler Kolek out of Shepherd High School in Shepherd, Texas.

Left-hander Carlos Rodon, widely considered to be the best college pitching prospect in the draft, was taken third overall out of North Carolina State by the Chicago White Sox. Infielder Nick Gordon, the son of former big-league closer Tom Gordon and brother of Dodgers infielder Dee Gordon, went fifth overall to the Minnesota Twins out of Olympia High School in Florida.

Elk Grove High School outfielder Derek Hill was selected 23rd overall by the Detroit Tigers.

About This Blog

Matt Kawahara has covered baseball for The Sacramento Bee for three years. Kawahara, a McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley graduate, joined The Bee in 2010. Before joining Sports, he was a general assignment news reporter. Reach Kawahara at mkawahara@sacbee.com. Twitter: @matthewkawahara.

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