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  • Twins MLB Draft Profile: Braden Shipley, RHP

    Who IS This Guy?
    Braden Shipley is a former shortstop that only moved to the mound full-time last year. He is still among the top 10 talents in the draft because of his low-effort delivery and the effectiveness of some of his pitches. His recent performances for Nevada have him moving quickly up the draft boards.

    In the past, he has hit 99 mph with his fastball but he is more consistently in the 92-95 mph range. His best pitch is his changeup, which counters his fastball nicely. His change sits at 83-86 mph and he uses great arm speed to deceive the batter. He does have a curveball but he doesn't have a feel for this pitch yet, probably because of his inexperience. Overall, he can throw strikes and this is a trait the Twins have coveted in the past.

    One NL scout recently said, "When he is firing on all cylinders, he's as good as any pitcher not named Appel in this class." That's high praise and it could be tough for teams to pass him by.

    Who Could He Be?
    His arm strength and athleticism make him an intriguing pitching option especially since he is so new to the position. He had a great start to the spring season and some hiccups in the middle. More recent starts have been better and this could help his draft stock.

    Shipley will need to work on his curveball if he is going to develop into a top of the rotation pitcher. He doesn't have much feel for this pitch and this is evident in the type of break he gets while throwing it. With more repetition, this pitch could move from the below average range and help to make him more effective.

    He might not be in the elite class of college arms in this draft but he isn't far behind. The ceiling for him might be a number two pitcher on most teams. With the Twins, he could end up being a front of the rotation hurler for multiple seasons.

    How Soon Could He Be Playing In Target Field?
    Out of all of the college pitchers taken early in the draft, Shipley might need the most development time in the minors. His fastball and change-up are great but he is going to need time to work on his curveball. This will only come with repetition in the minors.

    If he signed right away, the Twins would likely send him to the rookie leagues for the end of the 2013 season to pitch out of the bullpen. Next season, he would get the chance to be a starter for Cedar Rapids. After spending the entire season with the Kernels, he could move to Fort Myers for 2015.

    In 2016, he would make his way to New Britain with a shot at going to Rochester. Because of his inexperience, it would seem that 2017 would be the earliest he could make an appearance with the Twins.

    If the Twins Draft This Guy, They Messed Up Because...
    There are more experienced college pitchers in this draft. Shipley could be a wild card especially if his secondary pitches aren't honed in the minors.

    His fastball and change-up combination could make him a deadly bullpen weapon. With the fourth pick in the draft, but a team doesn't necessarily want a good relief pitcher. The front office and the fans want a front of the line starter and Shipley might not have all of the tools to reach this lofty goal.

    It would also take some time for him to develop in the minor leagues and the Twins might be back in contention before he is ready to take over a rotation spot.

    If the Twins Draft This Guy, They Nailed It Because...
    The Twins need pitchers with upside. With Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray likely off the board, Shipley is the next best collegiate option. Other prep arms like Kohl Stewart could take even more time to develop in the minor leagues. Some members of this organization might lose their jobs before a younger arm makes it to the big leagues.

    Shipley's upper 90s velocity makes him a power arm this organization has been lacking. In recent weeks, he has shown more control over his curveball and this could make him a devastating pitcher.

    At the beginning of the spring season, there were other collegiate pitchers in front of him. But by draft day, he could be the third college arm off of the board.

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    This article was originally published in blog: Twins MLB Draft Profile: Brandon Shipley, RHP started by Cody Christie
    Comments 35 Comments
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      St. Louis has had no problem sustaining their success.....heck Wacha is up from last year's draft.

      Fine, I wont' ignore trades, let's look at the last three years and next year......how's that looking?
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      Well then I can change my stance to Santana was the only ace caliber pitcher the Twins had sustained success with since Bert Blyleven in the 1970's because while I loved Brad Radke, he was no ace.
      How often does one get ace caliber if that's the comps? Santana and Blyleven were both HOF talents. I'm not sure how many teams develop guys at that level and none do so with any frequency. I don't think Radke is at their level but he certainly pitched better than many other pitchers commonly referred to as "aces."

      Pitcher A 12 years 126-95, 3.94 era (117 ERA+), 1800+ip, 35.7 WAR (best season 6.2)
      Pitcher B 12 years 148-139, 4.22 era (113 ERA+), 2400+ip, 45.6 WAR (best season 6.5)
      Pitcher C 11 years 131-98, 4.07 era (108 ERA+), 1900+ip, 25.4 WAR (best season 6.3)
      Pitcher D 13 years 132-100, 3.94 era (111 ERA+), 1900+ip, 33.6 WAR (best season 6.5)
      Pitcher E 14 years 163-135, 3.94 era (108 ERA+), 2400+ip, 35.9 WAR (best season 7.2)
      Pitcher F 16 years 176-1244, 4.04 era (112 ERA+) 2400+ip, 40.6 WAR (best season 5.1)

      A, E and F all won a Cy Young award. 5 signed large contracts over 16m/season with large market teams. And Radke had a better career than all of them by WAR (although A is still pitching and could end up with higher career WAR).
    1. cmb0252's Avatar
      cmb0252 -
      Keith Law's present and future grades for Zimmer and Shipley head to head

      Zimmer:
      Fastball- 60/60
      Fastball movement-45/45
      Command-40/50
      Control-45/55
      Curve ball-55/65
      Change-40/50

      Shipley:
      Fastball-60/70
      Fastball movement-45/45
      Command-40/50
      Control-45/55
      Curve ball-50/60
      Change up-65/65

      Looking at those numbers it would look like Shipley is the better overall short stop converted to pitcher prospect. But wait! Let's look at Jonathan Mayo's present/future grades for Shipley.

      Shipley:
      Fastball-60/70
      Control-40/60
      Curve ball-40/50
      Change up-40/50

      Those numbers are pretty different and make Zimmer look like a better prospect. Now let's look at BA's future grades for Zimmer.

      Zimmer:
      Fastball-70
      Command-65
      Control-65
      Curve ball-65
      Change up-55

      Once again we see very different numbers which can alter what you think of the two. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of either guy but I see the upside. They both profile as #2s if they reach their ceiling but unlike most college pitchers are both pretty raw. If Shipley gives the Twins a massive discount and they use the saved money on high end talent later I guess I would be fine with it even though I prefer Stewart.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      I agree with that, but it's so risky......
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
      How often does one get ace caliber if that's the comps? Santana and Blyleven were both HOF talents. I'm not sure how many teams develop guys at that level and none do so with any frequency. I don't think Radke is at their level but he certainly pitched better than many other pitchers commonly referred to as "aces."
      Ok, ace is hard to define so lets make it simpler, how many times have the Twins had a pitcher who could be considered a top 15 starter in the league? With 30 teams, the Twins should have a guy like this every other year, yet they don't. It shouldn't be hard if the odds are 50/50. Santana certainly qualified, he was a top 15 pitcher multiple times. But why is this consistancy so terrible to expect of our GM? We could expand the peramiters to the top 20 pitchers, even top 30 and we would all too often be coming up empty.

      Santana is the only Twins starter in 40 years to have made more than one All-Star game. That is not acceptable.
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      mike, you asked the same rhetorical question you have many times in the past: "how many [starting] pitchers have the Twins developed in the past ten years."

      As usual, someone provided you with an answer. And then your standard "I never said" backtracking begins. And I doubt you will ever acknowledge that trading an asset they drafted and developed for a starter counts for anything.

      But let's back up and see if you can accept a couple of very well-proven premises:

      1. A team is lucky to get three eventual players out of any given draft. Do you disagree with this premise?

      2. A team that is drafting in the lower third of the draft order is even luckier to get three eventual players out of a given draft. Isn't this logical?

      3. There are generally no sure-fire aces available to teams picking after the first half-dozen picks. For example, there may only be three "sure-fire" aces in this draft, maybe two. So, when a team drafts an ace in the lower rounds, you pretty much have to chalk it up to serendipity, otherwise that ace would have been selected in the first few picks.

      4. Last, please tell us the name of a team who has never had poor results in the draft.

      So, mike, you can decide that, over the last ten years, that the Twins have had abysmal results and try to prove that by beckoning us to review this year's roster, but that's a specious argument, and I think you know it.

      On balance, I'd say the Twins have had a slightly less than acceptable record when it comes to drafting and developing starting pitcher, or through trading assets they HAVE successfully drafted and developed for starting pitching. They've probably been no better than average at it. Part of that is could be due to their bias toward refinement versus velocity over the years, I don't know. But Bromberg won the SO title two years running before injury claimed him.

      So, before passing such harsh judgment, it makes sense to be open to both the failures, whether through judgment or injury (see Rainville, Fox, Waldrop, et al), and the sucesses, such as (recent history) Baker, Garza, et al.

      Remember, mike wants wins, it was less than two years ago that you were lamenting that the Twins had virtually nothing in the way of a farm system. Here comes the "I never said" refrain, but you did say they had nothing in their system to help the team in the next three years. You rejected the argument that we had some talent closer to being ready, guys like Hicks, Arcia, Parmelee, Dozier, Gibson, Hendriks. They may not be much, but they aren't the "nothing" you portrayed them to be.

      And likewise, your portrayal of the Twins as crappy drafters and as failures at promoting talent is simply inaccurate.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Straw man to ask for a team that has never failed in a draft, I've never asked for them not to fail. I expect some, even a lot, of failure. You can call this what you want, but I've never, ever asked for that. heck, in 2004, they had 5 first round picks, 5!

      It is true, the farm system is vastly improved in the last few years, and I've acknowledged that over and over on these boards. I've said repeatedly, over and over, that Smith did a great job in international free agency, for example.

      How is it inaccurate? Look at the record the last three years. Look at the number of starters that were drafted that are effective players. Mauer and Morneau and some relief pitchers. Dozier is not effective, though he's a much better 2B than SS, I agree. Plouffe, jury still out. LF and RF are not draftees. SS is not a draftee. Not one starting pitcher is a draftee.

      They are about to lose 90+ games for a third year in a row. I guess my standard of success at being good at drafting and developing players would not result in that kind of record.

      I've also, again you don't like this, never asked for an ACE. I've asked for a series of number 2/3 types. I think Gibson fits that mould, which is why I think he should be up right now, and I complimented them for that pick at the time, and have since as well. Diamond might or might not fit that mould, he didn't the first year or this year so far, while looking like one last year.

      I have also acknowledged, just today on the 2004 draft thread, that injuries have really hurt this team's pitching.

      But, now we are just arguing past each other. I've laid out my thoughts on this thread several times.

      1. The team is going to lose 90+ games for three years in a row.
      2. Very few players have come up from the minors in the last few years and been good and consistently good for more than a year or two.
      3. The starters are historically bad (for the Twins) and were last in the all of the majors last year.
      4. I have offered an example (St. Louis) of a team that manages to keep drafting and having success, despite winning in the majors also. If that's not enough, I apologize.
      5. They traded two starting OFers, with no certain replacements on hand, which I think is Ryan acknowledging they had not drafted well lately, and that they needed to give up valuable assets to get some. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think he and others from the Twins FO have said they've failed to draft and develop starters lately.
      6. I'm done with the back and forth, people don't generally find this entertaining to read.

      I'm sorry that it apparently upsets you so much, that I think they have not been successful in developing talent. But when I look at who has come up in the last five years, and I look at the results at the MLB level, I reach a conclusion that they have not been good at drafting and developing players. If you reach a different conclusion, that's your right.
    1. TwinsFanInPhilly's Avatar
      TwinsFanInPhilly -
      Hey Mike - KLAW and others really means only KLAW, right?
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      No, I've read one other person, I think on CBS but it might be the other guy on ESPN, state that they don't understand why the Twins start experienced college pitchers in rookie ball. But I could not name the other guy, but I know I've read it from more than one person.
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      Wow, mike. Whatever works. Ten years, last year, a few years, five years, three years. You got it covered.

      1. You Could look at it THIS way: for the third year in a row, the record will improve. And the team IS improving slowly.

      2. Everyone concedes the systen went through a drought, but it takes players about 1500 MLB AB's to scratch the ceiling, so not acknowledging the new guys "in the last few years" is bogus. How are Arcia, Hicks, Parmelee and others supposed to meet your challenge of being "consistently good for more than a year or two" when they're in their first or second year. You're being unreasonable, maybe a bit obtuse.

      3. Yes. The pitchers sucked last year. Every one of them: Liriano, Baker, Marquis, Pavano, and Blackburn all sucked last year. This has nothing to do with your point.

      4. St. Louis. That's your evidence? No others? You SHOULD apologize, my friend.

      5. Ryan has acknowledged the poor results. This is different than acknowledging the kind of ineptitude you suggest constantly. To his credit, he also has admitted that they've made mistakes and need to get better. I don't know what more we could ask of him.

      So you're right, mike, we'll keep arguing past each other, because you refuse to consider the evidence others point to, which is perhaps the third best farm system in baseball. And you will insist that the facts and data you supplied above is some kind of proof that they are really bad at drafting and developing starting pitching. You used to always include a list of every position of weakness on the current roster as evidence of their ineptitude. I applaud you for being fairer than you used to be.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      Ok, ace is hard to define so lets make it simpler, how many times have the Twins had a pitcher who could be considered a top 15 starter in the league? With 30 teams, the Twins should have a guy like this every other year, yet they don't. It shouldn't be hard if the odds are 50/50. Santana certainly qualified, he was a top 15 pitcher multiple times. But why is this consistancy so terrible to expect of our GM? We could expand the peramiters to the top 20 pitchers, even top 30 and we would all too often be coming up empty.

      Santana is the only Twins starter in 40 years to have made more than one All-Star game. That is not acceptable.
      Yeah, I think you make a good point here. I'm not sure if all-star games are really that important since it's not always the best pitchers. But the Twins have had a few pretty good pitchers but I agree they haven't really had one with sustained success since Santana and Radke left. (Radke was in the top of WAR 6x. I honestly think he qualifies). Hopefully Meyer and Gibson can both turn into solid front end types soon.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      I'd be careful with the definition of surefire ace. There are maybe 15 of them in MLB right now. We won't adding 3 to 5 more to that list through this draft. If history is an indication, it will be 1... the question is which of the pitchers in this draft is gold, and which are fools gold.
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      We've had the Ace pitcher discussion already. The Twins love affair with toolsy HS OF has put them out of the potential to draft an Ace. Garza was the last draftee that had that potential. He has yet to grow up and overcome the mental part of the game, but the talent is still there. You don't always have to be at the top of the draft to get an Ace, it certainly helps, but you pretty much HAVE to draft them in the 1st round, especially in the last 10 years. This is why I am against the Twins drafting a position player so much this season. To get top of the rotation talent, you have to draft them in the 1st.
    1. cmb0252's Avatar
      cmb0252 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
      We've had the Ace pitcher discussion already. The Twins love affair with toolsy HS OF has put them out of the potential to draft an Ace. Garza was the last draftee that had that potential. He has yet to grow up and overcome the mental part of the game, but the talent is still there. You don't always have to be at the top of the draft to get an Ace, it certainly helps, but you pretty much HAVE to draft them in the 1st round, especially in the last 10 years. This is why I am against the Twins drafting a position player so much this season. To get top of the rotation talent, you have to draft them in the 1st.
      Getting any top level talent typically results from taking someone in the first round. Ace or position player. Just because we want an ace at 4 doesn't mean there is one there. I wanted to win the lottery when it was close to 600 million but that didn't happen. Scouts make a board and then the front office picks who is the best player. Does it always work? Heck no. That's why you have to hold your scouts responsible.
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmb0252 View Post
      Getting any top level talent typically results from taking someone in the first round. Ace or position player. Just because we want an ace at 4 doesn't mean there is one there. I wanted to win the lottery when it was close to 600 million but that didn't happen. Scouts make a board and then the front office picks who is the best player. Does it always work? Heck no. That's why you have to hold your scouts responsible.
      Maybe not the true definition of an Ace, but every draft has pitchers that become top of the rotation guys. To think only Appel and Gray will become these types of guys is naive. The key is being able to identify it. An argument can be made making that distinction is tricky. However, you can't win if you don't play. To draft an Ace, it has to be done in the 1st round. I'd rather have a chance at getting "that" guy than refuse to be in the mix by drafting a position player.
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