Player: Ian Clarkin
Drafted by: New York Yankees (No. 33 Overall)
DOB: 2/14/1995 (Age: 18)
Height/Weight: 6'2"/190 lbs
School: Madison HS (San Diego, Calif.)
College Commitment: San Diego
A showcase standout last summer, Ian Clarkin has been steady this season and planted himself firmly among the top prep pitchers in the class.
Clarkin is committed to San Diego—part of a very strong recruiting class for that school. Hopefully he never steps foot on campus, because his ability to flash three above-average-or-better pitches and success in high-profile events like the 18U World Championships make him a very appealing high-ceiling option. Also performed well at the WWBA event last year.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
Lot of moving parts in delivery, starts by moving back with a high leg kick, brings hands up high around his head before moving toward the plate; good extension out front; big stride toward the plate; release point tends to change from pitch to pitch, though not an uncommon trait in high school arms; clean arm action and ability to release ball late helps velocity play up.
Command of pitch is below-average at present, but will flash at least average in spots; extension out front helps above-average velocity play better; due to inconsistent command and release point, pitch doesn't have much movement presently; high three-quarters arm slot allows pitch to stay down in the zone, but needs to stay on top of it more consistently; sits 90-92 right now with ability to add another one-two miles at peak.
Breaking ball has hard, late bite that will be a plus pitch when he gains more experience and learns to command it in and around the zone; 12-6 shape on pitch with depth that can buckle knees; doesn't always finish well out front, leading to pitch bouncing in front of the plate; future projection suggests an easy plus offering that will miss bats.
Doesn't often trust the changeup in game situations; will have to develop consistent control of the pitch and use it against right-handed hitters; will occasionally show flashes of being an average offering; above-average movement on the pitch; arm speed is terrific; as long as it becomes a reliable third offering, his ceiling will increase.
Flashes of above-average control presently, but it comes and goes too often; big delivery causes him to lose some release point; shows better control of the fastball than any other pitch; off-speed stuff lags well behind the heater; projection is for above-average control, though there will be a struggle early as he gains experience.
Everything starts with fastball command, which is below-average on the whole; while he repeats delivery well, struggles with arm location upon release of the ball, leading to it leaking back over the fat part of the plate when trying to come inside; changeup and curveball are successful right now because of movement, but command in and around zone is the biggest key to determining what his ultimate role will be.
MLB Player Comparison: Mark Mulder
Projection: No. 2 starter in first-division rotation. Likely winds up closer to a No. 3, but potential suggests a little more.
MLB ETA: 2018
Chances of Signing: 70%
Clarkin is a bit of a wild card right now. There was a time when he looked like a sure-fire top-20 pick and was going to command a good signing bonus to forgo his college scholarship. A somewhat erratic spring, highlighted by some command problems, dropped his stock a bit.
That said, Clarkin is obviously still regarded highly. It will be interesting to see what kind of bonus he wants, especially considering how the regulations for signing draftees has changed. It is still hard to see any high draft pick passing on the chance to get into pro ball early, but it does happen.