of Lawrence Academy (Groton, Mass.)
is hoping to be selected in the Major League Baseball Draft in June and, with the help of his father, he's doing whatever it takes to make his dream come true.
"Our main goal is Major League Baseball and we do some pretty crazy things to get in a bullpen session or a workout," said Beede, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound pitcher whose father Walter was drafted by the Cubs out of high school. "My dad is always on the road driving around New England for work. So when I need a ride somewhere to work out or throw, he has to come and get me, even if it is three or four hours away. I send the text and he responds, 'W.I.T.', which means 'whatever it takes.' Those are the words we live by."
Beede figures to be one of the top high school pitchers selected in the Major League Baseball Draft on June 6. He is ranked No. 10 in the
MaxPreps Class of 2011 Top 100 Baseball Player Rankings
and he is the No. 5 pitcher on the list. He has a fastball that reaches between 92 and 94 mph and he struck out 75 batters in 47 innings pitched last year while going 6-2 for the Spartans with a 0.89 ERA.
"While Tyler will focus on pitching at the college or pro level, he is also a tremendous athlete," said Lawrence Academy coach Christopher Margraf. "He played first base for Lawrence Academy the majority of the year while also batting third in the lineup. He runs the bases very well and has good baseball sense. He also played wide receiver and defensive back for one of the best football teams in the state this past fall."
Adhering to his mantra "whatever it takes," Beede has played baseball all over the country during the summer and he even left the comforts of home to play at a prep school one year after winning a state championship at his previous high school.
"I was lucky enough to participate in a lot of the showcases this summer including East Coast Pro, Area Codes, and the Aflac game," said Beede. "It's always a great time playing with kids from around the country that are very talented and top prospects. It really drives you to play that much better when you compete against all those great players."
At the Aflac game, Beede pitched to only three batters, but he didn't give up a run in his one inning on the mound.
"I faced three great hitters, Matt Dean, Shawon Dunston Jr., and Daniel Camarena. All three of those guys are great hitters, and in that game I was lucky enough to get them out in order," said Beede. "The best hitters I faced all summer were Blake Swihart, and Dante Bichette Jr. Just two kids who really stood out to me as kids with major league hitting ability already, plus they hit the ball hard off me as well."
Beede attended Auburn until his junior season when he transferred to Lawrence Academy. According to Margraf, the opportunities that Lawrence Academy provided extended beyond the baseball field.
"Tyler was on a state championship team at Auburn High School. He did not have to leave Auburn to be recruited by Vanderbilt or to become a potential high-round MLB draft pick," said Margraf. "He chose to attend Lawrence Academy because he wanted to challenge himself in a new environment academically, athletically and socially. As a result, he is better prepared to handle the rigors of Vanderbilt University or the minor leagues.
Although Beede lives at Lawrence Academy, he fondly recalls his days at Auburn with his friends and teammates from Little League.
"It's a small town with a lot of great people, parents and kids that really care about each other," said Beede. "Everyone is smiling and seems to always be happy. It's a special place to me because it's always going to be a place I can call home, even though I live at my prep school.
"My first memories are of playing Little League baseball with all my good friends from Auburn," he continued. "When I look back at it now, the team we had was quite talented. You didn't see it that much then, but I do now. It's always fun playing baseball with the buddies you grew up with. Makes great memories."
Lawrence Academy plays in the Independent Schools League in Massachusetts and thus does not play in the state championships. However, that doesn't mean there isn't plenty riding on the season.
"We don't have a postseason in the ISL but I can promise that our team this year will make a run for the league title," said Beede, whose team was 8-3 in league play entering this week. "We return a lot from last year, including a few additions in the field and in the pitching rotation. So we should be a team to watch in league this year."
Beede adds that Buckingham Brown and Nichols, which leads the league with a 10-3-1 mark entering this week, should be Lawrence Academy's toughest test.
"They have the best team in Massachusetts for a few years now, going undefeated last year," he said. "I faced them last season and got the loss in a great game. They just play sound baseball, do all the little things perfect and execute all their bunts and small-ball plays."
Beede says he is constantly working on improving his game, but he always tries to remember to have fun.
"I'm always working on my mechanics, whether it's in the mirror in my dorm room or I'm playing catch. There's always something to work on," he said. "But I think the most important advice my dad told me before I started out was to just have fun and love the game. If you don't love the game and you start taking it too serious, it can get boring."
Beede will head to Vanderbilt University next year, unless a Major League team makes an enticing offer after the draft.
"You know it's always been a dream to be mentioned in the draft alongside such great baseball players," he said. "It's a constant thought in my head and I really can't describe the feeling. It's just an exciting time that I will enjoy with family and friends and let whatever's going to happen, happen."