In what may become a new feature, there are players throughout the organization, worthy of notice that from time to time sneak under the Phuture Phillies radar screen. Is Tyler Cloyd one of them?
Cloyd, 24, was a 18th round pick by the Phils in 2008 and a Bellevue, Nebraska native. CLoyd progressed through Williamsport in 2008, followed by Lakewood and CLearwater in 2009, putting up decent numbers as a starter. Going into the 2010 season, the Phils made a decision to use Cloyd predominately out of the bullpen, a transition with which he had some difficulty, finishing the year with an ERA over 5.oo, spending most of the year in Clearwater.
I had a chance to see CLoyd live during a trip to Spring Training this year and came away extremely impressed. He started against the BlueJays AA group and threw three hitless innings, striking out 6, toying with most hitters. While without radar numbers, he changed speeds very well and threw a good slider.
Going into the 2011 season, I expected Cloyd to begin the season in Reading however, when the rosters came out it was back to CLearwater he went where he bounced back and forth between the bullpen and rotation, performing in each role equally well, while dealing with the difficulty of an ever changing role. In 13 games with the Threshers (5 starts), Cloyd went 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA and a very impressive WHIP of 0.96. A very nice bb/K rate of 1.6/8.9, helped prove he was ready for the move to AA.
In his first three starts in the Reading rotation which he joined after the roster juggling of the last couple of weeks, CLoyd has looked good, throwing 17 innings and giving up just five earned runs (2.65). Again, back to his control. He has walked just one and struck out 18 in his 17 innings as a starter, a ratio that can lead to a very good future.
CLoyd throws strikes and while it sounds simple, the lack of that ability has been the downfall of many a minor league pitcher. He can locate his fastball and his off speed stuff is improving to an extent that it is being noticed by those “in the know”. Time to notice in my opinion.