Haigwood Has Been A Consistent Winner

Dan Haigwood wasn't the "big name" in the Jim Thome deal. He was an important name though and some believe that in the long run, Haigwood and Giovany Gonzalez, who were acquired along with Aaron Rowand from Chicago, will turn out to be key components for the Phillies.

In high school, Dan Haigwood pitched almost as flawlessly as a guy can. In his career, he was 43-0 until that fateful final game when he suffered his first loss as a high school pitcher.

As impressive as the performance was, Haigwood wasn't exactly highly sought after in the 2002 Draft. The White Sox were able to grab him in the 16th round. After signing pretty quickly, Haigwood started his professional career in the Arizona Rookie League and seemed to hit on almost immediate success. In 14 starts, Haigwood finished the season with a 2.28 ERA and an 8-4 record.

The White Sox hoped to move Haigwood pretty quickly, but a roadblock hit that delayed Haigwood's progress. A knee injury cost Haigwood the entire 2003 season and set him well back on moving up the White Sox prospect radar. In 2004, there were conflicting reports about exactly how healthy he was and his numbers (10-4, 4.76 in Low-A ball) didn't do much to support his status as a prospect.

As spring of 2005 approached, Haigwood wasn't on the list of top Sox prospects and seemed to be sliding. After the injury and less than expected stats in 2004, he was merely another minor league pitcher. Haigwood was completely healthy in 2005 and returned to his winning ways with a strong performance at High-A Winston-Salem (8-2, 3.77) and earned a promotion to AA Birmingham.

While Birmingham's park is known for being friendly to pitchers - just ask Michael Jordan - Haigwood's performance was still something to be impressed with. In 11 starts at AA, Haigwood went 6-1 with a 1.74 ERA and struck out 76 in 67 1/3 innings of work.

Since he has only started 11 games at AA, the Phillies will likely send Haigwood to Reading to start 2006. If things go as they did for Haigwood at Reading the way they did at Birmingham in 2005, then he'll likely head to Scranton by mid-season.

There is no doubt that Haigwood needs more work in the minors. He's still raw and needs more time to develop, although he has good natural mechanics and a lot of strong pitches in his arsenal. Haigwood won't overpower hitters, considering that his fastball tops out in the low 90s. He has a strong curveball and a change-up that is improving constantly. He'll use both of those pitches and vary his fastball to keep hitters off pace and swinging through pitches. One thing to love about Haigwood is that he keeps the ball down. With Citizens Bank Park known for being a hitter's haven, the fact that Haigwood has given up just one homerun every 16 2/3 innings in the minors is well worth mentioning.

Dan Haigwood's career stats

Year / Team W L ERA G GS IP H R ER BB KO HR
2002 AZ Rookie 8 4 2.28 14 14 75.0 69 31 19 26 74 2
2003 INJURED 0 0 0.00 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2004 Kannapolis 10 4 4.76 21 21 113.1 97 63 60 56 99 10
2005 Winston-Salem 8 2 3.77 15 15 76.1 79 39 32 33 84 8
2005 Birmingham 6 1 1.74 11 11 67.1 39 14 13 31 76 0
TOTALS 32 11 3.36 61 61 332.0 284 147 124 146 333 20

Philly Baseball Insider Top Stories