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Minor League Prospect Report: Tyler Cloyd, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies

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Minor League Prospect Report: Tyler Cloyd, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies will promote pitching prospect Tyler Cloyd to the major leagues today. He'll start today's game against the New York Mets, replacing Cole Hamels, who is waylaid by a stomach illness. Who is Tyler Cloyd? Here's the rundown.

Cloyd was drafted by the Phillies in the 18th round in 2008, from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He pitched decently in A-ball in 2009 (12-9, 3.54, 116/42 K/BB in 165 innings, 173 hits), but wasn't considered a top prospect. He posted an ugly 5.32 ERA in 69 innings for High-A Clearwater in 2010, but his 67/16 K/BB ratio showed some promise. He was much more effective in 2011, posting a 2.77 ERA with a 138/22 K/BB in 146 innings, 132 hits allowed, combined between Clearwater and Double-A Reading.

He returned to Reading to begin 2012 and was excellent in four starts (1.80 ERA, 20/3 K/BB in 25 innings). Promoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, he's continued to perform well against International League competition, going 12-1, 2.35 in 22 starts. Overall this year, he is 15-1, 2.26 in 26 starts, with a 113/41 K/BB ratio in 167 innings, allowing only 127 hits.

Obviously his numbers are very good, but Cloyd doesn't show up highly on prospect lists. You can guess the reason: he doesn't throw hard. He can top out at 92 on his best days, but usually works in the 86-89 range. Scouts rate his slider and changeup as merely adequate, but the combination of the three pitches has worked well in the minors since he throws strikes and locates his pitches well. If his location is off, he usually misses high, which can result in excessive home runs.

Listed at 6-3, 190, Cloyd was born May 16, 1987. At age 25, with this kind of performance record, Cloyd doesn't have a lot left to learn in the minors and deserves a shot against major league hitters. His lack of plus stuff limits his projection, and even scouts who like him see him as just a fifth starter or relief option.

That said, if you throw strikes and have a bit of luck, you have a chance to surprise, and Cloyd is the type of pitcher who can Go Fiers on us.