Prospect Scouting Report: Hayden Gardner

Hayden Gardner believes in second chances – at least he better. After a disappointing start to his 2004 season in the Rangers organization, the Phillies are hoping that his second chance will come through. Of course, Gardner is used to making good on second chances, since he originally went undrafted before signing as an amateur free agent.

A change of scenery, a new outlook and some fresh new approaches may be all Hayden Gardner needs to continue pursuing his dream of pitching in the majors. Things in the Rangers organization went bad for Gardner and he was never able to move past the AA level.

Actually, the Rangers thought they had a bit of a find in Gardner, who attended Pitt Community College and was undrafted. Gardner was one of those guys who the Rangers thought might have fallen through the cracks. Early on, they were rewarded when Gardner showed true promise. In his first three pro seasons, Gardner went 11-14, 2.70 in Rookie and Class-A stops. When Gardner advanced to AA in 2003, he struggled a little, posting a 4.50 ERA and when he stumbled out of the gate in 2004, the Rangers cut him loose.

Gardner has always been seen as a raw talent that needs some work. There may be a diamond there if the Phillies can just find a way to make it shine through.

Year

Team

W

L

SV

ERA

G

GS

IP

H

R

ER

BB

KO

HR

2000

GCL

0

3

3

2.25

17

1

28.0

28

11

7

16

23

1

2001

Pulaski (R)

4

4

0

2.48

13

13

83.1

71

32

23

15

70

4

2001

Charlotte (A)

1

0

0

1.59

1

1

5.2

5

1

1

2

3

0

2002

Charlotte (A)

6

7

18

3.10

45

5

93.0

78

39

32

19

71

2

2003

Stockton (A)

1

1

2

0.00

4

0

6.2

4

1

0

1

6

0

2003

Frisco (AA)

4

1

0

4.50

33

0

52.0

63

28

26

25

29

7

2004

Stockton (A)

1

0

0

4.50

7

0

10.0

13

9

5

7

6

0

2004

Frisco (AA)

1

0

0

9.00

9

0

13.0

14

14

13

12

8

2

2004

Clearwater

2

4

6

4.97

26

0

38.0

37

26

21

18

38

5

2004

Reading

2

1

1

3.09

7

0

11.2

13

4

4

3

6

1

 

Career

22

21

30

3.60

162

20

329.2

326

165

132

118

260

22



Repertoire: Gardner is your basic sinker/slider type pitcher who works on keeping the ball down. As he has tried to develop a curve, his walk numbers have started to grow. His fastball is decent, but nothing that's going to make anybody too impressed.

Pitching: Gardner has decent enough stuff to work out of the rotation at lower levels, but he gets exposed as a starter when the competition gets better. The Phillies believe his future would have to be out of the bullpen.

Projection: It may take a little while, but Gardner has a shot at being a suitable major league reliever. He's likely going to be one of those guys who will spend a lot of time going back and forth from the majors to AAA, unless he develops a little more velocity and movement on his fastball.

ETA: 2008. That's provided that Gardner really can master the AA and AAA levels. That would mean he would be 27 when he reaches the major league level and he could still be a decent reliever if all goes right.

Comparison: For a comparison, watch Geoff Geary throw. The two are very similar and rely on location to get by. Geary may have more potential and a higher up-side than Gardner.


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