Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ian Clarkin LHP:

Prior to the 2013 draft Clarkin was thought to be a major wildcard. People knew he had talent but it was tough to predict which team would take him. Clarkin was one of the best left handed starters in the draft, and had already developed an out pitch. Because of this some predicted he could go as early as the 15th pick. The Yankees were very fortunate to have gotten him as the last pick of the first round as he has a sizable ceiling. As of now Clarkin is ranked as the best pitching prospect in the Yankees system. Even when you consider the injuries to Banuelos and Hensley that is a big deal.

Vital Statistics:

Born: Feb. 14, 1995 B-T: L-L Ht: 6-2 Wt:186 Drafted: HS—San Diego, 2013 (1st round)

2013 stats:  IP/ERA/WHIP/FIP                                                      5/10.80/1.80/9.80


Clarkin's rise to a top draft prospect began in his senior year in high school where he struck out 133 batters and posted a 0.95 ERA in his last season in school. His performance put him on the USA's gold medal winning 18-and-under team. Clarkin played a big role in this win by pitching 6 strong innings in the gold medal game.

His strong season shot his name up draft boards and he was projected to go as early as 15 in mock drafts. Clarkin's success comes from a very well developed curveball and deceptive delivery. However as with most high school pitchers he still has to work on his mechanics and his changeup.

2013 Season:

Each of the Yankees first round picks got injured in a bizarre attempt to fit in. Fortunately none of their injuries were serious and won't affect their 2014 seasons. Once he recovered from his ankle injury he was able to pitch 5 innings for the GCL Yankees. They weren't the prettiest of innings but they helped him shake off some rust and it showed the Yankees what he needed to work on.  After the GCL season ended he went to the Yankees instructs program where he  worked on his mechanics and his changeup.

Scouting Report:

Like Severino, Clarkin already has 3 well developed pitches to work with. He has a fastball that mostly sits in 90-92 MPH range. His fastball has good movement and can reach 94 on some occasions. Clarkin's best pitch is his  curveball, which sits in 72-75 MPH range and is considered a plus pitch. Clarkin's curveball placed his name on BA's best draft tools report. His last pitch, the changeup, isn't nearly as developed as his first two but projects to be at least average.

Unlike Severino, Clarkin still has work to do to perfect his command and his pitching mechanics. While his delivery is deceptive he has to improve his follow through. Clarkin still has room to grow and should be able to develop more arm speed as he progresses through the system.


According to Matt Garrioch from Clakin's low end projection is of a number 3 starter. However Garrioch projects him to be better than that in the future stating that he  "could be a #2 starter if he commands all three pitches well and sits 92-94".Garrioch was also very high on Clarkin's curve and wrote the following tidbit on it. "The best I saw [Clarkin] was with a 94 MPH fastball and a potential plus-plus breaking ball at 72-75 MPH. It looked unhittable and unfair at times."

2014 Level:

We can't really say where Clarkin will begin his 2014 season until spring training. If Gil Patterson's presence changes the Yankees development strategy than the Yankees will most probably have him start the year in Charleston. His development is very important to the Yankees, and they may choose to be careful with him.

The fact that he is considered to be their best pitching prospect suggests that many people have lost faith some faith or question the potential of Jose Ramirez , Bryan Mitchell and Manny Banuelos. If those players don't have a bounce-back year Clarkin's 2014 season will have a major impact on how the system is looked at.


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