Prospect Profile: Ian Clarkin

2014 Stats: 

Level: A/A+

16 G   75 IP   25% K%   8% BB%   2.0% HR%   44% GB%   3.12 ERA   3.65 FIP

Clarkin ranked #6 on my Yankees top 100 list.

Background:

The Yankees selected Ian Clarkin out of high school in the sandwich round (33rd overall) of the 2013 amateur draft. The lefty reported to the Gulf Coast League Yankees, where he pitched terribly in three starts (10.80 ERA, 10.06 FIP) before it was all said and done.

What he did in 2014 (as a pro):

Although he hot off to a rocky start in his draft year, Clarkin was everything the Yankees could have hoped for in his first full year as a pro. After opening the year in extended spring training, he joined Class-A Charleston in early May, and pitched to an impressive 3.12 ERA, striking out 25% of opposing batters and walking just 8%. He missed a few weeks with some minor injuries — a twisted ankle in July and an undisclosed injury in August — but neither seems likely to be a problem going forward.

What Kiley says:

Clarkin doesn’t have the typical projectable frame of most 1st round prep arms, but he has more feel and current stuff than his peers. After going 33rd overall in 2013, Clarkin had a nice full season debut in 2014, working 90-93 and hitting 95 mph, with an above average to plus curveball and a changeup that drastically improved to now regularly flash average. There’s 3rd/4th starter upside here and there’s reason to optimistic as Clarkin is young for his level and is getting results and ground balls due to above average stuff and feel.

What KATOH says:

ClarkKATOH likes Clarkin a lot, especially when you consider that KATOH’s generally not a fan of A) pitchers or B) players in the low levels of the minor leagues. The biggest reason for KATOH’s optimism comes from Clarkin’s 25% strikeout rate, which was well above the league average last year. The ability to miss bats is the best predictor of big league success for pitchers in the low minors, so the fact that Clarkin ran a high strikeout rate bodes very well for his future prospects. Its also exciting that he managed to pitch as well as he did despite being a 19-year-old who was often facing hitters two or three years his senior.

Future Outlook:

There were some concerns about Clarkin’s command heading into the season — especially following his three atrocious starts from 2013 — but he seems to have more or less put those problems behind him. While Clarkin’s fared well so far, he’s still a good two or three years away from pitching in the Bronx, so there’s still a good bit of risk in his profile. But given his performance to date, along with his fastball-curveball combination, there’s little reason to doubt that he’ll develop into a successful big league starter in time.

About Chris

Chris works in economic development by day, but spends most of his nights thinking about baseball. He writes for Pinstripe Pundits, and is an occasional user of the twitter machine: @_chris_mitchell
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