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.
|YEAR / TEAM
|'02 AZL (R)
|'04 Kannapolis (A)
|'05 Winston-Salem (A)
|'05 Birmingham (AA)
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
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.