Top Prospect #16: Daniel Haigwood

The Phillies got more in the Jim Thome deal than many thought that they would, considering Thome's sliding numbers and big contract. Two young left-handers were included with Aaron Rowand and both of them look like big additions to the organization. Daniel Haigwood is the most progressed and closest to helping at the major league level.

Daniel Haigwood had no idea how drastically his life was going to change last fall. "I was definitely surprised," Haigwood said, speaking of the trade. "I was just sitting at home and I got a phone call that I had been traded." Now that he's with the Phillies though, he's making the most of the opportunity. "I didn't really know much about the Phillies, but I'll learn and I'll fit in."

It looks like Haigwood will start the season at AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre and not be given much consideration to make the club. After all, there is already a glut of pitchers fighting for just a few spots. If and when the Phillies do need Haigwood though, he believes he's ready. "Coming into the off-season, I thought I needed more work, but I worked hard this off-season and now, I think I'm ready [for the majors]," said the 22 year old left-hander.

'02 AZL (R) 8 4 2.28 0 14 14 75.0 69 31 19 2 26 74
'03 Injured 0 0 0.00 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
'04 Kannapolis (A) 10 4 4.76 0 21 21 113.1 97 63 60 10 56 99
'05 Winston-Salem (A) 8 2 3.77 0 15 15 76.1 79 39 32 8 33 84
'05 Birmingham (AA) 6 1 1.74 0 11 11 67.1 39 14 13 0 31 76
Career 32 11 3.36 0 61 61 332.0 284 147 124 20 146 333

Acquired: Came to the Phillies along with outfielder Aaron Rowand and pitcher Giovany Gonzalez in a deal that sent first baseman Jim Thome and cash to the Chicago White Sox on November 25, 2005. Was originally drafted by the White Sox in the 16th round of the 2002 Draft.

Repertoire: Throws the basic fastball, curveball and change-up, with a slurve thrown in for good measure. "My best pitch is my change-up," explained Haigwood. His fastball is generally right around 90 miles per hour and he gets good movement on the pitch. Haigwood mixes his pitches and uses his change-up effectively to make his fastball look faster than it is.

Pitching: This is a smart pitcher who gets the most out of what he's got. He posted an awesome 1.04 WHIP mark at AA Birmingham last season after being promoted from Class-A Winston-Salem. He's got a strong career 1.30 WHIP in three minor league seasons. Haigwood missed the entire 2003 season with an ACL tear and returned slowly in 2004. By last season though he was back to form and put up impressive numbers. For a lefty, he's especially tough on right-handed hitters, who managed just a .216 average against Haigwood in his two minor league stops last season. At AA, right-handers managed to hit just .141 against him. Overall, left-handers didn't do much better, batting just .246 against Haigwood last year.

Projection: Haigwood believes that he could pitch in the majors now, but he probably does need work at AAA. The Phillies aren't going to really consider him for a major league job, because they've got so many options. They do have him in major league camp, but at some point, he'll be sent over to the minor league complex to join up with the players who will comprise the Scranton roster. Haigwood probably won't even be the first option to be recalled if there is an injury or slump at the major league level, but should get an audition in September. Next spring, it's likely that he'll be in the mix for a spot in the starting rotation.

Comparison: In the White Sox organization, Haigwood was where Gavin Floyd was for the Phillies a couple of seasons ago. He may not have quite the upside that Floyd was given at that time, but there is no doubt that he can at least fill a middle-of-the-rotation job for the Phillies down the road. He and Giovany Gonzalez, who also came over from the White Sox, give the Phillies a pretty formidable couple of left-handers that weren't in the organization this time last year.


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