ESPNBoston.com and its High School section today announced that Tyler Beede, senior right-handed pitcher at Lawrence Academy, is the recipient of its inaugural "Mr. Baseball" award, to be presented annually to the top high school baseball player in Massachusetts.
The Mr. Baseball award winner was chosen by a panel of experts made up of ESPNBoston.com staff and correspondents, and analysts. Beede will be presented with the award from ESPNBoston's staff at a later date.
“We couldn't think of a more fitting person than Tyler Beede to forever be associated with the presentation of the first Mr. Baseball award in Massachusetts,” said ESPNBoston.com high schools co-editor Brendan Hall, who coordinates the site's baseball coverage. "Tyler’s prowess on the mound is equaled by his demeanor off of it. He’s just one of those kids you meet once and can’t help but root for, and is a true embodiment of what the 'Mr. Baseball' award is about."
After a prolific start to his high school career at Auburn High School – including 114 strikeouts in 56.1 innings in the Rockets’ 2009 Division 2 state championship season – Beede transferred into the Groton, Mass., campus, and watched his stock continue to soar.
This past season, he went 8-0 in 51 innings (all complete games save one) with 102 strikeouts, eight walks, 13 hits allowed and five earned runs for an ERA of 0.69, as the Spartans captured the ISL championship outright. In his two seasons at LA, his numbers are outstanding: 14-1 with 189 strikeouts in 96.1 innings, and an ERA under 0.80. Beede also flashed some aluminum this season, batting .481 out of the leadoff spot with 15 RBIs, 24 walks and four home runs.
All of it came full circle this past June 6, when he became the first high schooler from Massachusetts since 2003 to be taken in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft, going 21st overall to the Toronto Blue Jays. Beede is currently committed to Vanderbilt University, but has until the August 15 deadline to decide whether he will honor his commitment or sign with the Jays.
"There has been considerable hype thrown Tyler’s way these past two years," Hall said. "But he’s risen to every challenge, with conviction. His three plus-pitches and mid-90’s velocity are what draw all the attention, but what has impressed me in all the years watching him is the intangibles. His attitude and work ethic are rare for his age in terms of maturity, and you see it in the way he manages on the mound."