Don’t Overlook Haigwood In Thome Deal

At this point, the Jim Thome for Aaron Rowand trade is old news (at least with the speed news travels around the Internet).  ESPN is reporting that Buster Olney broke the trade, although I think Bruce Levine may have had it first

One part of the deal that’s getting zero publicity so far is the White Sox’s inclusion of 22 year-old lefty starter Daniel Haigwood.  Once you add it all up, receiving Jim Thome and $22MM for Aaron Rowand, Haigwood, and a third player is nowhere near a good deal for the Sox.  For this article, I want to focus on the potential of the known minor leaguer.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at Haigwood.  He missed 2003 after tearing the ACL in his left knee, and his control was shaky in his first season after the surgery in A ball.  Despite the questionable performance in ’04, Haigwood was still ranked the 19th best prospect in his organization by Baseball America.

In July of this year, Haigwood was promoted to Double A Birmingham.  He was absolutely phenomenal in eleven starts there, going 6-1 with a 1.74 ERA.  He was unhittable, surrendering no home runs in 67 innings.  His strikeout rate continued to climb past ten per nine innings.

The knock on Haigwood is his control – he still walks four men per nine innings.  He’s got an excellent curve ball, a decent two-seamer, and a developing change-up.  Did I mention he’s left-handed? 

If Haigwood refines his control a bit, it’s reasonable to project him as a 3rd starter in the big leagues in 2007.  Remember the name, because the Phillies acquired more than a run-of-the-mill throw-in in the Thome deal.   

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