Something In The Water
By David Driver
BALTIMORELong Beach, Tallahassee and Austin are great places to find baseball talent. This year scouts have added the Chartwell section of Severna Park, Md. to their list of prime locales.
The neighborhood in suburban Baltimore could produce two of the first five picks in the draft, and perhaps three overall. Not bad for two houses within a foul ball of each other.
Gavin Floyd, a righthander at Mount St. Joseph High, lives on Yorkshire Drive. One street over on Wembly Way is the family of Mark Teixeira, the Georgia Tech standout.
"I could throw a baseball and hit his house," said Floyd, after pitching a 10-inning shutout to beat rival Calvert Hall 1-0.
"We sit at our kitchen table and see their front door," said Teixeiras mother Margy.
Teixeira has known Gavins older brother Mike, a junior outfielder at South Carolina and possible late-round pick, for years. "They are like best friends," Gavin said.
Teixeira and Mike Floyd also went to Mount St. Joseph. The three boys grew up playing baseball and other sports just down the street at Kinder Park.
"Gavin was always the little brother," Margy Teixeira said.
"I knew Mike ever since I was in third grade," Mark Teixeira said. "(Gavin) didnt say much. He had friends his own age. (Mikes) little brother kind of crept up on us. All of a sudden he was 6-6."
Teixeira said he and Mike are still best of friends and talk often. But he and Gavin have no bets on who will go higher in the draft. "We probably havent spoken a word about the draft," he said.
While Teixeira has been a lock for a premium pick since last year, Gavin Floyds stock has risen steadily this year. In the playoff game against Calvert Hall, with radar guns, television cameras and photographers pointed his way, Floyd struck out 13 and gave up two hits and two walks. His last pitch of the eighth inning was clocked at 95 mph, and he reached at least 93 in the ninth and 10th innings while throwing 111 pitches. His two-out drive to center field scored the winning run.
"He is a big, strong righthanded pitcher," one American League scout said. "Every time out he has gotten better. He has probably put on 30 pounds in the last two years.
"What separates him from other kids is his knee-buckling curveball. He has shown unbelievable command with it."
Floyd has signed with South Carolina, but the chance of him playing with his brother next season is slim. And who knows: Mike Floyd, who transferred from Virginia to South Carolina, may be playing pro ball as well.
"He cant make his decision based on his brother," said Rodney Floyd, the boys father.
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