Phillies SP Tyler Cloyd (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Position: Starting pitcher
Prospect Level: Mid-level prospect.
2012 Major League Stats: 6 starts, 2-2, 4.91 ERA, 33 IP, 30 K.
2012 Minor League Stats: (Reading & Lehigh) 26 starts, 15-1, 2.26 ERA, 167 IP, 113 K.
Season in Review: Tyler Cloyd is one of the most interesting pitching prospects to come up through the Phillies system in quite some time. Cloyd absolutely dismantled Double-A and Triple-A hitting for 26 games, posting an astounding 15-1 record and 2.26 ERA.
But when the 25-year-old righty got up to the Majors, he struggled greatly against far superior batters, and that all falls back on the velocity of his fastball.
Cloyd’s fastball ranged between 85-89 MPH, almost 10 ticks slower than the average fastball. Other pitchers like Greg Maddux and Jamie Moyer got away with a sub-90 MPH fastball because of their pinpoint location and intelligence with mixing pitches. Unfortunately for Cloyd, he is no Maddux or Moyer, and that could be a problem.
In his debut against the Mets, Cloyd pitched six solid innings, allowing three runs on an RBI single in the 2nd and a two-run homer in the 3rd. But he settled down in that start, retiring 10 of the last 11 batters he faced.
In September, Cloyd went 2-1 in five starts. In his second start, he allowed a run in seven innings of work against the Reds, but then struggled in his next two, allowing seven runs in seven innings combined. Cloyd got payback against the Mets, pitching eight innings of three-hit, one-run ball for his second win. He was pummeled by Washington in his final start, allowing six runs in five innings.
Cloyd’s future with the Phillies is weird. Their rotation, when fully healthy, has four guaranteed spots and Kyle Kendrick may have pitched himself into the fifth and final spot with his performance this season. Cloyd doesn’t have the stuff to be an effective reliever and may find himself back in Lehigh at the start of the 2013 season.
This means that Cloyd could possibly be trade bait. There will be a team out there in need of a backend starting pitcher who is young and cheap and the Phillies could be able to move Cloyd for a mid-level prospect or a Major League bullpen arm.
Cloyd was impressive, but he may have been figured out by some Major League clubs. His 2013 campaign will paint a clearer picture on his future in baseball.