5/24/13

Draft 13 – Ian Clarkin, Casey Meisner, Connor Jones, Thomas Windle, Braden Shipley

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The best curveball in this year's class, Ian Clarkin works in the low 90s with a fastball that shows late life. He also throws a changeup that has the potential to become a plus pitch. Athletic with plenty of deception in his delivery, Clarkin has racked up 105 strikeouts over 58 2/3 innings this season. He owns a 7-2 record with a 1.07 ERA and a .159 batting average against. His big-game ability was on display last summer, when he starred for a Team USA squad that won the 18U world championship. Clarkin is committed to USD, but his top-of-the-rotation potential will likely land him in the top half of the first round.


Casey Meisner, RHP, Cy-Woods HS (TX) - At 6’-7” and 190 pounds, there is obviously a lot of room for projection. Meisner can hit 91 mph with his fastball and, despite his size, has good control of his body on the mound with a nice, easy delivery. He features an average, mid-70s curveball and developing change-up but needs to be more consistent with his command of both. He tossed a five-inning no-hitter in his season debut, striking out 13 to two walks, and for the season, he has 85 K/12 BB over 53 innings, allowing 32 hits. He is raw in areas, but the upside is high for a third-fourth round pick in the 2013 MLB draft. Committed to Texas Tech. LINK


I had the luxury of seeing Connor Jones during the Under-Armour All-American Game in Chicago last August, and he also took part in the World Wood Bat Championships in Florida, so this report is a mix of what I saw last year and his performance in that event. Jones gets by with basically one pitch right now: An average fastball that plays up because of his arm action and natural movement. He comes from a three-quarters slot and you can see the pitch really move, especially to his arm side, generating soft contact.  LINK


Thomas Windle, Minnesota - Windle was a guy some watched early because there seemed like there would be some potential for a breakthrough into first round territory.  That didn't happen and Windle is back in the range where scouts thought he'd be after his sophomore season.  He's an athletic pitcher who projects to have good command and to go with his advanced feel for pitching.  The stuff is solid but not special.  He has a good 88-92 mph fastball that has reached as high as 94.   There isn't a whole lot of movement but Windle's 6'4 frame that allows hm to throw that pitch from a good downward plane. LINK


Braden Shipley | RHP, Nevada - Gifted pitchers tend to arrive in the majors a bit more quickly than the hitters.  2012 first-rounders like Kevin Gausman and Michael Wacha are already on the cusp of breaking through in the bigs, and both could be making impacts in fantasy ball this year.  Braden Shipley is one of the few 2013 draft prospects who could find himself on the mixed league radar a year from now.  A University of Nevada product, Shipley displays a rare combination among pitching prospects:  supreme athleticism and plenty of polish to go with it.  His fastball is a plus offering, siting low- to mid-90s, touching elite velocity on occasion.  His changeup, though, is the pitch that stands out — probably the best change in the draft class, and he throws it with confidence and great deception.  Reports on his breaking stuff are mixed, but most scouts are optimistic that his hard curve will blossom into a third plus weapon.  At 6-3, 190, Shipley’s frame projects well as a starter.  A mid-rotation gig seems the most likely destination for him, but there’s front-end potential here if development goes well.  Expect Shipley to be drafted within the first 15 picks. LINK

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