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.
Twins Daily MLB Draft Player Profiles:
- Monday, May 20-- Sean Manaea, SP
- Tuesday, May 21-- Austin Meadows, OF
- Wednesday, May 22-- Trey Ball, OF
- Thursday, May 23-- Ryan Stanek, RHP
- Friday, May 24-- Clint Frazier, OF
- Tuesday, May 28-- Reese McGuire, C
@TwinsDaily on Twitter!