RC profiles fifth round pick, Jason Godin
Jason Godin was drafted by the Royals in the fifth round of the 2006 draft with the 137th overall pick. Godin is a 21-year-old right handed pitcher out of Old Dominion University (ODU) who led the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) with 146 strikeouts this season, and he registered an 8-3 record with a 4.06 ERA in 15 starts. His 146 Ks missed Justin Verlander's ODU strikeout record by just 5 punchouts, and he was twice named Collegiate Baseball's "National Player of the Week." In his 115.1 IP, Godin surrendered 116 hits and 38 walks.
Godin's prospect hype was somewhat muffled this season, since he missed the entire 2005 campaign after undergoing surgery on his vertebrae. Nevertheless, he far exceeded expectations this year, and he emerged from his medical ordeal with an expanded repertoire. He doesn't blow anyone away with his fastball, which sits at 88-91 mph, but he does possess a plus curveball, which he uses frequently. He also flashes a nice slider that cuts in on righties, and he has what is described by Baseball America as a "fringy change" that he doesn't use very often.
RC was very intrigued by this pick -- since we really hadn't followed Godin closely during the season -- so we dug through ODU's box scores to see if we could identify any trends or highlight any performances. After Godin struck out 17 Navy hitters in his 2006 debut (a complete game victory), we found that he struggled a bit, surrendering 13 ER over his second and third starts of 2006 against Rutgers and Rhode Island.
But he then entered a stretch in which he was completely dominant. From March 11 through April 15, Godin made six conference starts, averaging 8.2 IP and nearly 12 strikeouts per game while compiling an ERA of 1.38. He tossed three complete games over that stretch, including two shutouts, and he went the first nine innings in an extra inning win over Hofstra on April 9. On April 15, he set a school record by striking out an amazing 18 batters (with 0 BBs) in a complete game shutout over Northeastern.
Godin then ran into some trouble. He dropped his first two decisions of the season to Delaware and Virginia Commonwealth University, yielding 13 earned runs in 13 IP. He did strike out 23 batters, however, and he struck out 19 more over his next two starts while yielding 11 more earned runs in a combined 13.2 IP against UNC-Wilmington (a very good offensive team) and Towson.
Godin's final start of the season was in a CAA Tournament elimination game vs. Georgia State. He surrendered six runs (only two earned) and seven walks, and he took the game into the tenth inning before allowing the deciding walk-off run with two outs. It was a disappointing end to the season, but Godin established himself as a strikeout pitcher who maintains his stuff late into games.
All told, RC really likes this pick. We don't believe Godin has signed yet, but we imagine that the Royals probably aren't in a big hurry to ink him to a contract after he threw so many innings and pitches this season. Once he does sign, we expect Godin will probably make a few appearances in Idaho Falls before the season is over, similar to what Chris Nicoll did last year. We particularly like his strikeout numbers, and we think that Godin may turn out to be an excellent find.
That's it for today, but stay tuned, as RC promises to bring similar profiles of the Royals draftees in the coming days. We'll continue focusing on some of the college pitchers, and we plan to profile VCU's Harold Mozingo with our next feature.