Tyler Beede’s talent on the field is impossible to deny. The most highly-recruited player to come to Vanderbilt in over a decade, Beede nearly led the Commodores in innings pitched in his first year on campus.
On the field, the 6-foot-4 righty is poised and composed, even when he cranks his fastball up to 95 mph and unleashes a very solid circle changeup and curveball.
Despite his quiet, laid back personality, Beede has a hidden talent: rapping. When he steps away from the mound and picks up a mic, Beede’s reserved personality is left by the wayside, replaced by his swagger-filled alter ego, Young Beedah.
“Writing was always a passion I had,” said Beede. “And I guess just last year I kind of went all for it and went all in and decided to make a couple songs.”
Last winter, Beede released two songs on YouTube—“Forever 21” and “508 to the Ville.” Both are about his decision to go to Vanderbilt instead of signing with the Toronto Blue Jays.
In June of 2011, Beede was selected 21st overall in the MLB Draft, but he ultimately turned down a $2.5 million offer, partially because the Blue Jays balked at his $3.5 million request. He was the only one of 60 first-round picks not to sign.
Since then, Beede came out with three new songs in the past six months, and again, each were largely about his decision to choose an education over taking the money in Toronto. But if all of his songs have to do with that $2.5 million decision, could that be what motivates Beede to this date?
“I wouldn’t say the decision [to return] is what drives me,” said Beede. “I always knew I was going to find myself here. That was an easier decision than people made it out to be.
“People read a lot into what I say in my songs, but they really shouldn’t. I just write whatever’s on my mind, and if it comes out sounding a little awkward, then that’s just the way it is. But my motivation is just this team and getting to Omaha and that’s just how it’s going to be every day.”
For Beede, rapping represents another outlet for him and his creativity, a way to express his feelings. It also gives him an opportunity to let out whatever is hiding behind his gameday poker face.
Beede is not the only one in the Vandy locker room with an odd off-the-field talent. Redshirt freshman Zander Wiel beatboxes. A few of his teammates can do backflips. Famously, the team has made a dance-off video each of the past three seasons, with this year’s iteration featuring team captains Spencer Navin and Tony Kemp.
“You’ll hear people getting in a group of four and rapping to each other (in the locker room),” Beede said. “Just kind of things that keep it fun, keep it loose because once we step on the field, it’s all competition. In the locker room is where we create those memories and have fun with it.”
Young Beedah doesn’t care what other people say about his decision to come to college. He doesn’t care what you think about his music. Young Beedah only seems to care about following his passions. To take a line from his newest song, “Fallin’,” “What you dream is more important than hundreds of G’s.”
On the mound, however, you won’t see that same fire from Beede. His fire comes in the form of a blazing fastball, a pitching prowess than ranks him atop the SEC. Couple that with a steady demeanor, and Beede will be an important stabilizing force for a team with high expectations.