In the first part of our interview with Beck Way we discussed what a summer is like with no baseball, working with Eric Cressey and his experience in the Cape Cod League. You can read that here. Below Beck discusses getting drafted, and the early influences as a baseball fan and player.
Dan Kelly - You were off to a great start in JUCO this year, 40 IP, 58K, ERA under 1.00… as the news starts coming out about COVID were you ever seriously thinking the season was going to be called off, how were you dealing with that kind of news in the background?
Beck Way - I know I gave a strong showing, so I know whenever I heard about the season ending, I tried to think that it was not true. I don’t know, at first when it hit, everybody was scared, and a lot of people were dying, so I figured right away that the season would be over based on the way people were reacting.
DK - Going into draft night, you had a commitment to LSU as an option in your back-pocket. As the draft starts to go past the second and third round is the thought of going to campus getting stronger in your mind? Or had you already been contacted by the Yankees or other teams?
BW - Yeah... so pick zero to 99 I was locked in and ready to go, but after 99 I was like “I don’t want to be in the hundreds” I’m talking to my agent and we had a number, and we are talking about “what do we do?” … “What if we say no this year, and I go to LSU and post a 4.00 ERA for some reason and now I’m not even in interest for the top five rounds next year?” So around pick 100, they contacted my agent, and said that if he is around for our next pick we are going to take him and offer him this much money, let me know what he says?
They said it was overslot, so it was a no-brainer that they wanted to invest this much, and I was their only pitcher. That is how I looked at it, they could have given me the slot, but the fact that I was their only pitcher meant a lot to me at the time. I knew that there were only five rounds and the Yankees picked one pitcher and it was me, that’s important to me, and makes me want to prove to the fans, coaches, scouts, my coaches, it was the motivation that I needed.
DK - Did you and your agent scout any of the teams? You don’t have to name-names, but were there any teams that you were leaning towards based on their record of pitching development, resources and how they could be a good fit for your pro career.
BW - Yeah, the way my agent was explaining it, he said that blank-blank team, if you go there this is happening a lot, and these are reoccurring issues, so we talked about it, but we never discussed the Yankees, never. Just because they’re the Yankees, we never talked about the Red Sox. Those are the two teams I can name off the top of my head that we never talked about because you know what you are going to get. With other teams we talked about, things like “this pitching coach is good in Double-A.” Right after the pick he called me and said, “dude, there is not another team I’d like to see you go to, they are going to treat you so well.” I said, “I know its going to be nice.”
DK - Growing up in Central Pennsyvania as a baseball player and fan, it feels like your fandom can go in a bunch of different directions. Who was your team growing up, and did you have a player that you modeled yourself after?
BW - My grandfather was the only kind of reason I got into baseball, he was the dude who took me to practices, and pushed me and helped me. He grew up a Yankees fan, so I enjoyed watching the Yankees, then in 2004-2005 he met this guy that started working for him, and this guy was the biggest Phillies fan. He started taking my grandfather to a lot of games, so I became a Phillies fan and then they won it, and I became even more of a fan. I was at Game Five.
Yeah, my dad is a huge Orioles fan so I’d watch the Orioles, my uncles love the Pirates, so we’d watch the Pirates and my grandfather loved the Phillies and Yankees so we’d watch them. It sucks that my grandfather isn’t around to see all of this this, a lot of what I do is because of him.
DK - I think the family influences is something a lot of us can relate to.
BW - Then the guy I model my game after is Roy Halladay, he is the one dude that I was always watching. So Roy Halladay and the Phillies, I love them, but I was always watching the Yankees.
DK - That is all the questions I have for now, best of luck in the future, and thank you for your time.
BW - Thank you.