Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Collecting the Durham Bulls: Grayson Garvin

Grayson Garvin was apart of the Rays Draft Class in 2011.  The Rays had ten of the first sixty picks in the draft.  The team took Taylor Guerrieri, Mikie Mahtook, Jake Hager, Brandon Martin, Tyler Goeddel, Jeff Ames, Blake Snell, Kes Carter, James Harris, and Grayson Garvin.  None of those players have reached the Majors yet and there are many baseball experts who have taken notice.  I remember reading a string of Peter Gammons tweets last fall about the disappointment of this draft class for Rays, but there is still hope for several of these players including former Vanderbilt star Grayson Garvin.

Repeat after me: Wins do not matter.  Okay.  Garvin has a career 3-14 mark as a starter in the Minors.   I know there are some people who just cringed a little bit and are seriously contemplating something else to read, but hang with me for a moment.  The left handed pitcher has compiled that record over 41 minor league starts over three years.  While the win loss record is not great there are a couple of positives to be found in the numbers.

First, Garvin has given up less than a hit per inning.  Even better, he has only allowed six home runs and forty-two walks in three years of pitching in the minors.  So, Garvin keeps batters off base and keeps them in the yard, but has not won very many games.  While he is a really big guy, 6'6 and 225, and throws hard, he is much more Justin Masterson than flame throwing strike out pitcher.

I actually think that Garvin could have a good year pitching for the Bulls given some of the good defenders the team will have on the infield this year.   I do not usually use this space to make predictions, but I will throw this out there:  Grayson Garvin will have three wins by the middle of May.  He won three games this fall, in six starts, pitching in the Arizona Fall League.  I'd say the end of April, but I figure the Bulls might lose a game here and there at some point.  Plus there is the dreaded no decision.

Cardwise, Grayson Garvin has some really limited options.  As always, there are always team sets like last year's Montgomery Biscuits team issued set.  Beyond the team sets the options bill down to two 2011 issues.  Gavin has several 2011 Donruss Elite cards including an autographed card and all of the colored variations.  I do not own one of these, but am on the lookout for one.

The Garvin card that I do own comes from the 2011 Prime Cuts product.  Like the Donruss Elite set, it's a non-licensed product and features Garvin wearing a goofy blanked out hat....

it's also a sticker autograph (sigh).  I am a little surprised that Garvin has never appeared in a Bowman or a Topps Minor League product, but maybe they were too busy reading that wins line on his stat sheet.  I am guessing that a good season in Triple A this year could Garvin a slot in a product like Topps Pro Debut or Minor League Heritage.

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