Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Gavin Floyd Report

Gavin Floyd, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies
Drafted 4th Overall, 2001 Draft, HS, Baltimore, MD
Bats R/Throws R
22 YO, 6'5", 210 lbs

Floyd has been a big name prospect ever since being drafted. He was the classic coveted high school pitching prospect. He threw hard, had a breaking ball already, was tall and thin, allowing scouts to dream about how much velocity he would add when he grew bigger and stronger, and he dominated high school hitters. He's never really disappointed, putting up good strikeout totals and ERA's, and he still has the respect of scouts and prospect fans alike. But he's never had those numbers that Jeff Francis put up last season, or that Josh Beckett put up in 2001. You know these kinds of numbers, the ones that have ridiculous sub-2 ERA's with well over a strikeout per 9 and hardly any walks. These numbers leap off the page (or computer screen) at you and tell you pretty clearly that this guy has no business being at this level since he makes everybody else look like second rate high schoolers.

He also hasn't packed on that velocity that the Phillies expected. They thought he'd end up in the mid 90's, but he's still at the point where he usually sits at 90-92 with occasional spikes landing at 94. His curve is impressive, but he also doesn't throw it consistently for strikes. He has improved his changeup a lot, but it isn't a true out pitch. He needs to tighten his command on all three pitches.

2004 Reading: 2.57 ERA, 94 K, 46 BB, 93 H, 5 HR, 119 IP
2004 Scranton: 4.99 ERA, 18 K, 9 BB, 39 H, 4 HR, 30 IP
2004 Philadelphia: 3.49 ERA, 24 K, 16 BB, 25 H, 1 HR, 28 IP
Pre-2005 mL Career; 2.94 ERA, 367 K, 164 BB, 379 H, 31 HR, 453 IP

I thought Baseball Prospectus hit the nail on the head this offseason.

While Floyd is plenty young and will have the opportunity to improve the finer points of his pitching-his curve might induce more strikeouts, for example, if he learns how to set it up better-there's also the chance that he winds up like Jon Garland, a merely competent pitcher who is perennially on the verge of a breakout that never comes.

Now we may actually be witnessing the Jon Garland breakout, 3 or 4 years after we first expected it to happen. His 2005 success certainly would color how we view the comparison.

I have mixed feelings about Floyd. He looks to me at this point to be a mid-rotation guy, but there's that hint that if he improves his command a bit, he can ride into stardom. My recommendation is that owners in one year leagues and shallow keeper leagues keep an eye on him, but don't bite unless he strings together a few good starts. In deep keeper leagues, he's worth a flier and a spot on the bench. If you're looking for a potential stud in the Phillies farm system, Cole Hamels is still your guy. Floyd is a much safer bet to be a solid major leaguer, but if he stays healthy and avoids outright stupidity from here on out, Hamels has a chance to be much better. That's a heck of a qualifier though.

ETA: Currently on the Philly/Scranton-Wilkes Barre Shuttle Service
4 Stars



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