We’ll continue our spin around the nation in search of the player the Reds will select with the 27th overall pick in the MLB Draft June 6 with a stop in Nashville for a look at Vanderbilt LHP Grayson Garvin.
While many consider Garvin a third-round talent, ESPN’s Keith Law predicted the Reds to select the Commodore hurler in the first round, thus his profile here.
Garvin, Vanderbilt’s No.2 starter behind Sonny Gray, isn’t flashy but gets results. He is 11-1 with a 2.08 ERA. In 86 2/3 IP, Garvin has allowed 61 hits and eight home runs while striking out 75 and walking 14. Opponents have batted .211.
A native of Suwanee, Ga., Garvin relies on strong command of a fastball that ranges from 88 to 91 m.p.h. and that has hit 94. He also features a plus change and a solid slider. He locates everything well from a smooth delivery. Garvin pitches off his fastball and his arm angle makes picking up the ball difficult for hitters.
Polite, intelligent and consistent, Garvin entered the season projected by some as a fifth-round pick in a deep draft. He has pitched his way to a higher payday, however, with stellar performances against Florida, Kentucky, LSU, Arkansas, Mississippi State and San Diego. Garvin also has beaten Brown, Auburn, Alabama and Tennessee. The only blip on the season was in a 5-2 loss to Stanford when Garvin (6-foot-6, 220 pounds) gave up four earned runs and eight hits in six innings. He had a no decision against Illinois-Chicago.
On May 14, Garvin threw seven innings of six-hit ball, whiffing six and walking two in a 10-1 victory over a sixth-ranked Florida squad some scouts have said is the nation’s best team. On April 16 he beat No.3 South Carolina, 6-4, giving up six hits in six innings, striking out three and walking one.
Garvin was a reliever in 2009 and 2010. Last season he went 1-1 with a 1.25 ERA and one save in 13 games, 11 out of the bullpen. In 36 innings, he struck out 38 and walked 10. As a freshman, Garvin was 0-1 with a 7.82 ERA, whiffing 18 and walking eight in 12 2/3 innings.
A 45th-round pick of the Astros out of high school, Garvin pitched in the Cape Cod League each of the last two seasons. Working from the pen in 2009, he was 0-0 with a 3.86 ERA in 16 1/3 innings and eight games, walking five and striking out 22. Last season, he was the Cape’s pitcher of the year after going 5-0 with a 0.74 ERA in 36 innings as a starter.
Garvin knows his limitations and doesn’t try to strike out everyone. He is the definition of a crafty left-hander. Only once this season has Garvin reached double digits in strikeouts, whiffing 10 against San Diego. Only once has he walked more than three batters in a game.
Garvin majors in Human & Organizational Development, with a minor in Corporate Strategy. He is not ranked in Baseball America’s Top 60 draft-eligible players.