Tyler Cloyd to Korea


Former Phillies draftee and starting pitcher Tyler Cloyd has signed overseas with the KBO, and the 27-year old right-hander will attempt to continue his career in Korea.

Cloyd was an 18th Round selection of the Phillies in the 2008 MLB Draft out of the University of Nebraska. He then began an incremental rise through the farm system that saw him become one of the team’s hottest pitching prospects.

From 2008-12, Cloyd compiled a 48-22 record in the Phillies minor leagues. This was capped by an outstanding 15-1 campaign split between AA Reading and AAA Lehigh Valley in 2012, which led to his first big league callup.

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Cloyd made his MLB debut on August 29th, 2012 by tossing 6 solid innings against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. He allowed 7 hits, struck out 5, and walked 2 batters in taking a 3-2 loss that day.

In September, with the Phillies floundering to a .500 finish and their first season out of the playoffs since 2006, Cloyd was given a regular opportunity in the rotation. In total, he made 5 starts, going 2-2 with a 4.91 ERA, allowing 33 hits in 33 innings with a 30-7 K/BB ratio.

In 2013, Cloyd appeared in 13 games, 11 of them starts, spread in two periods: from late May through June and then again in the final month. He went 2-7, allowing 83 hits in 60.1 innings with a 41-25 K/BB ratio that year. The Phillies decided to release him that off-season, and he signed with the Cleveland Indians.

In 2014, Cloyd pitched the entire season with the Tribe’s AAA affiliate at Columbus and wasn’t bad. He went 10-8 with a 3.89 ERA in 27 games, 26 of them starts showing excellent control by registering a 118-31 K/BB ratio across 166.2 innings. But it wasn’t enough for Cleveland to give him a callup, and he became a free agent this off-season.

Earlier today, the South Korean champion Samsung Lions announced his signing to a one-year deal for $550,000 US dollars along with a $100,000 signing bonus. Samsung has won the last four KBO championships, and will plug Cloyd into their rotation.

Teams in the KBO are permitted to sign up to three foreign players to their rosters, of which at least one must be a position player. Cloyd’s signing pushes Samsung to their team’s limit.

This will be a chance for Tyler Cloyd to pitch regularly against advanced competition in a professional atmosphere, and in a challenging foreign environment. Cloyd will hope to put on a solid enough performance that he either gets a more lucrative longterm deal, or makes himself attractive to teams back in Major League Baseball.