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Phillies Top 10 Prospects

By Will Kimmey
January 6, 2003

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Prospect Handbook
Does 10 prospects per team only whet your appetite? How does 30 sound? If you want the more of in-depth information you're finding here on three times as many players, Baseball America's 2003 Prospect Handbook is for you.

The Phillies open a new baseball-only stadium in 2004, but they already opened their wallets in hopes of fielding a winner there immediately.

General manager Ed Wade replaced Scott Rolen by signing free agent David Bell for four seasons at $17 million. He made a huge upgrade at first base by luring Jim Thome away from the Indians with a six-year, $85 million contract. And when Kevin Millwood’s possible eight-figure arbitration award became too much for the Braves to bear, Wade swooped in and stole him for the low, low price of backup catcher Johnny Estrada.

Even after their runs at Tom Glavine and Jamie Moyer failed, Philadelphia still has the talent to return to the playoffs for the first time since its 1993 World Series appearance.

Plugging Thome into a heart of the order that already featured Bobby Abreu and Pat Burrell should make the Phillies mighty potent. Millwood becomes the No. 1 starter, relieving the pressure on Vicente Padilla and Randy Wolf and giving Brett Myers more time to grow into that role.

Despite being the nation’s sixth-largest market, Philadelphia hasn’t drawn well and will receive money in Major League Baseball’s new revenue-sharing plan. Ironically, the Indians pay into the fund and will indirectly subsidize Thome’s contract.

The additions marked a significant payroll increase for Philadelphia–roughly $33 million in salaries and bonuses for 2003 alone–but the hope is a contending team and a move from Veterans Stadium will win back fans.

Philadelphia won six National League East titles from 1976-83, but has enjoyed just three winning seasons since–largely because its player-development system was ignored for years. Now there’s a legitimate cause for optimism and sustained success.

Aside from the flashy moves this offseason, the bulk of the roster is homegrown. There’s more talent on the way in a system that has been rebuilt under the watch of assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle.

Myers, Jimmy Rollins and Brandon Duckworth have graduated to the majors over the last two seasons, and center fielder Marlon Byrd is ready to take the next step. The Phillies still have pitching and hitting talent throughout the system.

Their future looks bright, especially over the next two seasons. The only possible downfall could come in the later years of Thome and Bell’s deals, as their skills diminish while they still eat up a large portion of the payroll.

Top Prospects
Of The Past Decade

1993 Tyler Green, rhp
1994 Tyler Green, rhp
1995 Scott Rolen, 3b
1996 Scott Rolen, 3b
1997 Scott Rolen, 3b
1998 Ryan Brannan, rhp
1999 Pat Burrell, 1b
2000 Pat Burrell, 1b
2001 Jimmy Rollins, ss
2002 Marlon Byrd, of


Prospect Archives

1999 Top 10 Prospects
2000 Top 10 Prospects
2001 Top 10 Prospects
2002 Top 10 Prospects
• Top 10 Prospects Since 1983
• Top Prospects for all 30 teams
1. Gavin Floyd, rhp

Age: 19. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-6. Wt.: 210. Drafted: HS–Severna Park, Md., 2001 (1st round). Signed by: Ken Hultzapple.

Background: As a freshman on Mount St. Joseph High’s junior-varsity team, Floyd watched his older brother Mike and Mark Teixeira, both seniors, play for the varsity. Three years later, Gavin and Teixeira were selected with the fourth and fifth overall picks in the 2001 draft, with Philadelphia also taking Mike in the 22nd round. The Floyd brothers were on the South Carolina campus ready to attend class before both agreed to last-minute deals with the Phillies, with Gavin receiving a club-record $4.2 million bonus. He made a strong pro debut in 2002, ranking among the low Class A South Atlantic League leaders in several categories. Managers rated him the league’s top prospect. The Phillies handled Floyd cautiously, starting his pitch count at 70 and stretching it to 100 as he gained strength and durability.

Strengths: Floyd came to the Phillies with two plus pitches: his fastball and hard, sharp curveball. He throws the fastball 89-92 mph, peaking at 94-95 mph, with rapid arm action and a smooth delivery, and he used it almost exclusively to no-hit Lexington on July 24. Nevertheless, his knee-buckling curve is his best pitch because it can be unhittable at times. The organization asked Floyd to lay off his curve last season, urging him to develop the changeup that he never needed in high school. He has a nice feel for it now, and it could become a third plus offering. While Floyd’s stuff compares favorably to that of Brett Myers, he has a more laid-back personality. That doesn’t mean Floyd isn’t a strong competitor, though. His makeup and work ethic should allow him to maximize his talents.

Weaknesses: Floyd just needs innings and work in game situations. He’s learning which pitches to throw in certain counts and how to read hitters. He throws strikes to both sides of the plate but is refining his command in the strike zone. Floyd must use his fastball more and not rely so much on his curveball.

The Future: Though he’s as polished as any prep pitcher after one year in the minors, Floyd won’t be rushed. The Phillies’ minor league pitching depth will allow them to move him one level at a time. He can expect to start 2003 at high Class A Clearwater. Floyd profiles as a No. 1 starter.

2002 Club (Class)

W

L

ERA

G

GS

CG

SV

IP

H

HR

BB

SO

AVG

Lakewood (A)

11

10

2.77

27

27

3

0

166

119

13

64

140

.200

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