New York Yankees Prospect Profile Number 10: Ian Clarkin
As we continue along with the Yanks Go Yard Prospect Profile series, we move down the MLB pipeline to the 10th-ranked prospect for the New York Yankees, Ian Clarkin.
Scouting grades (courtest of MLB Pipeline): Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50
Left-handed pitcher Ian Clarkin was drafted directly out of high school with the New York Yankees’ 33rd overall, first-round pick in the 2013 MLB Draft. Clarkin was an impressive high school talent, and won the gold-medal game for Team USA at the 2012 18U Baseball World Championship against Team Canada.
In 2014, Clarkin played for both the Charleston RiverDogs (SALL, Class A) and the Tampa Yankees (FLOR, Class A+); mostly with the RiverDogs. While in Charleston, he went 3-3 in 15 starts with a 3.21 ERA and 71 strikeouts, gave up 25 runs and 6 home-runs. In his one start in Tampa, Clarkin gave up one run on seven hits, adding four strikeouts and earning a win in the process.
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Following a successful 2014 season, Clarkin was prepared to take the next step, unfortunately to be derailed by persistent elbow inflammation early in the season. The Yankees shut him down for the remainder of the season, but after rest and rehab, he would go on to pitch in the Arizona Fall League for the Surprise Saguaros.
Clarkin pitched 24.2 innings over six starts while in Surprise. Control and velocity were a couple concerns for Clarkin in the AZFL. He was catching a lot of the plate often, his fastball dipped into the upper 80s, and consistency in his breaking pitches was lacking.
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In these six games, he allowed 16 runs on 34 hits (two of which were home-runs), allowed 14 walks and had 17 strikeouts. It was still a tremendous hurdle for a kid dealing with elbow inflammation, to come back and make decent consistent starts after missing the regular season.
For his age, just 21 at the start of this season, Clarkin is still ahead of the game. He has decent velocity and feel for the game. His repertoire includes a good low 90s sinking fastball, a cut fastball, a curveball, and a changeup. If he can advance in commanding the corners, Clarkin is sure to be a great addition in the Bronx.
Clarkin is back to work with the Tampa Yankees, having made six starts on the young season. He is off to a tough start, having a 5.28 ERA, giving up 16 runs on 40 hits (just one homer) and adding ten walks. If healthy, look for Clarkin to bounce back and possibly make the jump to Trenton by season’s end.