2013 Phillies Draft Preview - Braden Shipley, RHP

Mike Stobe

I was hoping to write about a few college bats that could help the Phillies in a few years, but there's only 2 guys worth discussing that would be available. Since I already covered Phil Ervin, let's talk College Pitcher.

His Freshman year at University of Nevada, Shipley was the starting shortstop and didn't move to the mound full time until his Sophmore year. He immediately won the MAC Pitcher of the Year award with 88 K's in 98 Innings. Here's what will make our own Phrozen root hard for the Phils to pick him: He was named Top Prospect by Perfect Game in the Alaska League in the Summer of 2012. Shipley is a 6'3" 190 lb. Right Handed Pitcher, who the Phillies have a slim hope of getting (He could easily be top 10, but he could also slip if teams go for the High School bats instead).

He has a 3 pitch arsenal and may not need much time in the Minors at all. Per Keith Law, he already has a plus Fastball, a Plus Changeup (maybe better than the Fastball) and an above average Curve. His fastball tends to work in the low 90, reaching the 94-95 range. He currently has 76 K and 24 BB in 80 innings (8.6 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9). Those numbers are pretty good, but they aren't dominant, and in his most recent game against lightly regarded Air Force he went 7 innings with only a single strikeout. Shipley is somewhat newer to pitching, as this is only his second year as a full time starting pitcher in college (though he did pitch in High School). Any team that drafts him in the first round, does so with the belief that sequencing his pitches and possibly adding a 4th offering enable him to generate more dominating numbers.

Don't get me wrong, those are good numbers and a guy putting up similar numbers in Double-A would be considered a solid MLB prospect as a possible #2 or #3 starter. A valuable guy, but someone you want in the middle of round 1? If Keith Law is correct and scouts are seeing a kid with 2 plus pitches and an above average offering, he could be worth a gamble. Guys with 2 plus pitches aren't abundant, and a team can take a few seasons working on a cutter or a slider or a circle change or whatever 4th pitch they prefer, and at worst if the 4th pitch doesn't take you may still have a solid #2 starter or better. Ultimately that is what it comes down to: gamble on a higher ceiling high schooler who needs more work or go with a safe #2 starter who can probably be in the bigs around 2016?

Weirdly, there is not much video of Shipley out there (and by not much, I mean none), but there is a video of him being profiled by the Nevada Wolfpack themselves, so let's link to that.

Personally, given a choice I'd prefer a bat, all things being equal. That said, the Phillies should take the best player available, he can always be traded later for a bat if needed. Ultimately, were the Phillies to draft Shipley I'd be pretty happy. The scouting reports seem to like him and Keith law was quite impressed, and say what you want about Keith Law, but he's generally a very reliable voice for prospects.

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