SCOTTSDALE — Trevor Brown and Tyler Beede might be minor league teammates at some point this season, so as Beede went out for his first bullpen session of the spring, Brown was ready to catch him. Their plans quickly changed.
Buster Posey was waiting for Beede, and ... well ... you don’t say no to the best catcher in baseball.
Beede quickly dug in across from Posey, who had previously worked with Madison Bumgarner, Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto over two days of bullpen sessions. Posey has made a habit in recent springs of catching some of the organization’s top prospects, and he was vocal while in the squat for Beede, the 2014 first-round pick.
“It was really cool,” Beede said, smiling wide. “In the back of my head I was prepared for that. I’ve heard he sometimes does that. It was a great opportunity to gain familiarity with him. It happened really quickly. I was a little nervous after to go shake his hand and say thank you.”
The session was one hell of a way for Beede to be welcomed to his first big league camp, and Posey wasn’t the only one dispensing veteran advice. Beede said Jake Peavy, who is in the same pitching group, has been an invaluable resource so far. (Peavy was the one in that group who was probably supposed to throw to Posey, and you figure he was in on the surprise.)
“The mental side of the game is something I can really pick up,” from Peavy, Beede said. “I’ve been watching him on the mound. The way he competes is second to none.”
This is Beede’s first lengthy experience here and few players have flashed more smiles through two workouts. Beede knows he almost certainly won’t make the team and he could be in minor league camp shortly after games begin in early March, but he’s eager to show what he can do.
“You want to show them what you’re about, how you compete and how you want to win,” he said.
The 22-year-old had a 2.24 ERA in nine starts for High-A San Jose last season but it jumped to 5.60 at Double-A Richmond. In preparation for this season, Beede added nearly 30 pounds to what had been a thin frame, much of it muscle in his legs. While manager Bruce Bochy mentioned Beede — along with Clayton Blackburn — as a starter who may eventually break into the big leagues as a long reliever, the most likely scenario is that the right-hander spends the season in Richmond or Sacramento, further developing as a starter.
If all goes according to plan, Beede will one day be a central figure in the rotation, the type of pitcher who steps up to the first mound when spring training kicks off — at least until Posey decides to surprise another prospect.
STOCK RISING: The players competing to back up Matt Duffy. The Giants had briefly considered adding Juan Uribe as a utility player, but the price was too high. Uribe signed a one-year deal with the Indians on Friday for $5 million, or about 10 times what the Giants' actual starter at third will make.
STOCK FALLING: This drill. They should kill that drill. Nobody wants to see that.
FAMILIAR FACE: Bochy knows George Kottaras a bit since the catcher was drafted by the Padres in 2002. Andrew Susac and Brown are fighting it out to be the backup to Posey, but you never know when you’ll need to go way down the depth chart (see: Guillermo Quiroz, Jackson Williams, etc.) at catcher, so Kottaras is a guy to keep an eye on. He’s played seven years in the big leagues.
“His experience more than anything (stood out),” Bochy said. “George has been around and has handled a lot of different staffs, and he’s a left-handed bat.”
ICYMI: Ray Black, the reliever with a 103 mph fastball, is finally healthy enough to pitch in camp. Here's my story on Black.
LIGHTER SIDE: Can Bochy spell Samardzija? “No. No,” he said. “Ask me on Opening Day. I’ll have it down by then.”
QUOTABLE: “He was such a gentleman, such a nice guy. He always welcomed me when I came up here. I remember watching Jim Davenport as a kid, having his bat (in little league) and swinging it. He was just a real fun guy to be around. He was just one of those guys that loved being around the game. You were honored for Jim Davenport to come into your office and come talk to you.” — Bochy on Jim Davenport, who passed away last night.