Philip Clay Daniel
- Bats Both, Throws Left
- Height 5' 10", Weight 170 lb.
Clay Daniel pitched as high as AAA then became a scout.
Daniel was a junior college All-American at Gulf Coast Community College, then moved on to the University of Florida. After a 10-5 senior year in 1984, he was named All-Southeastern Conference. The Cincinnati Reds chose him in the 20th round of the 1984 amateur draft. He made his pro debut with the Billings Mustangs and was superb, going 7-0 with a 2.56 ERA, 8 walks and 60 strikeouts in 56 1/3 IP. He led the hitter-friendly Pioneer League by .64 over Charles Plumleigh. He also tied Steven Manweiler for the best winning percentage and tied for 4th in wins. On July 30, he had the league's only no-hitter that year, blanking the Pocatello Gems. Despite his success, he was not named as one of the league's All-Star pitchers, an honor that went to Greg Brinkman, Greg Mayberry and John Dodd. Promoted to the Tampa Tarpons, he struggled at 0-3 with 14 runs (13 earned) in 15 1/3 IP.
In 1985, the lefty was with Tampa (0-1, 3.86 in 3 G) and the Cedar Rapids Reds (13-8, 2.58, 138 H, 142 K in 178 IP). He tied for 4th in the Midwest League in wins behind Keith Silver, John Boyles and Al Sontag while ranking 5th in ERA (trailing Silver, Dan Scarpetta, Sontag and Ed Correa. Moving up to AA with the Vermont Reds, he faded to 7-11, 4.04 in 1986 with 84 strikeouts and a career-high 61 walks in 149 1/3 innings. He went from being his team's ace his first two years to the weakest starter on his club (though Vermont had a strong team that won the Eastern League).
Daniel moved to the Pittsburgh Pirates chain in 1987. He spent time with the Salem Buccaneers (0-1, 7 R in 4 IP) and Harrisburg Senators (4-2, 6.20, 61 H in 40 2/3 IP), with far worse results than any year yet, each season so far having shown weaker stats. He only pitched two games for Harrisburg in 1988 and allowed six runs (3 earned) in 4 1/3 IP.
After apparently missing all of 1989, Clay returned in 1990 with the Texas Rangers' Oklahoma City 89ers and had a 3.68 ERA in five outings before being released in early May. Signed by the independent Miami Miracle, he was 6-5 with a 2.65 ERA in 15 games (10 starts), walking only 13 in 74 2/3 innings. That ended his playing career. Overall, he was 37-31 with a 3.54 ERA in 105 minor league games.
Daniel scouted for the Cincinnati Reds from 1992-1994. From 2000-2009, he was international scouting director for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, signing Erick Aybar, Ervin Santana, Kendrys Morales and Ikko Sumi. He lost his job with the Angels over investigations of bonus skimming. He was back as a scout by 2012, though, working as a MLB scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks.