Key To White Sox AL Central Title Rests On Arm Of Gavin Floyd

bill brashkyContributor IMarch 29, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 28:  Gavin Floyd of the Chicago White Sox poses during photo media day at the White Sox spring training complex on February 28, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

While everyone is talking about Jake Peavy, Gordon Beckham and "The Outfield Situation," the Chicago White Sox No. 3 pitcher Gavin Floyd is seemingly skirting around the media radar.

Perhaps the most intriguing piece of what could potentially be a terrific White Sox team this year, Floyd is poised to build upon his resume and thrust himself into the upper echelon of pitchers this season.

A few of you by now are probably thinking, "You have got to be kidding me! He had a 4.06 ERA last season and was a measly 11-11!" But hear me out.

The 27-year-old righthander from Annapolis, MD has been an integral part of the rotation over the past few seasons. An already solid rotation, that has seen a face lift for 2010 in the form of Jake Peavy.

After a resurgent year from Mark Buerhle and a great season by John Danks, Floyd is sitting right in the middle of a rotation that should be among the top three in baseball by the end of the season.

In 2009, Floyd's ERA was not anything special. However, he set career marks in strikeouts and WHIP, lowered his walks from 2008 and did all of this in three less games than his 17-win 2008 season.

Floyd only gave himself a boost in the final two months of 2009, as he was amongt the tops in all pitching categories while facing squads such as Boston, Los Angeles, Minnesota and the New York Yankees.

With no definite team jumping off the grid in the AL Central this year, the White Sox could move up the rankings faster than many are projecting. Such mediocre teams also feed into Floyd's hands.

Many of the rotations in the AL Central don't feature solid pitchers through the third position. Therefore, Floyd may have some very favorable matchups against teams like the Royals and Indians.

With new acquisitions such as Mark Teahen and Juan Pierre, more speed on the base paths and Ozzie Guillen's excellent ability to plug and play with his rosters, run production will be at a premium on the South Side. These factors are all the more reason for Floyd to thrive.

So while the media swoons over Gordon "Silver Spoon" Beckham or "Bat Break" Jake, keep your eyes on the youngster Gavin Floyd. This "Pretty Boy" could just be the next big thing in Chicago.