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The Good Phight’s top 20 prospects: #20 - Dominic Pipkin

Let’s start with a right-hander that provides some depth with a tinge of upside

Jersey Blue Claws

We’re going to begin our countdown of top prospects here at The Good Phight, counting backwards from 20 to our top prospect.

Dominic Pipkin, RHP, 22 years old

Scouting report, via Fangraphs:

The big-framed Pipkin has grown into the sort of velocity hoped of him when he was an amateur prospect, and he sat mostly 94-96 mph when healthy in 2021. He’s had trouble developing dynamic secondary stuff (though his relatively new mid-80s slider looked pretty good in its early stages) and staying healthy, dealing with shoulder inflammation during his career. Still notable due to his frame, velocity, on-paper performance (when healthy), and the new hope for a second out-pitch, Pipkin enters his 40-man evaluation year without a starter’s innings foundation, having never worked more than 71 innings in a season. It pushes his forecast toward the bullpen.

Jay: 20th, Ethan: NR, Alex: NR

When you watch the video, there are a few things to notice. First is the repeatable delivery. You can see a pitcher that has been around the block as a starter and knows that he needs to make sure the delivery stays the same. Second, it’s hard not to notice the run Pipkin is getting on his fastball. It can be deceiving here since the hitters are younger at this level and he’s already had college level experience, but in the swings we do see, batters aren’t squaring it up. In this video here, you can get some looks at his secondary stuff, as well as his fastball.

Of the two breaking pitches, the slider definitely looks better than the curveball, so if ever he was going to prioritize one of them, that would be the one. The changeup fooled a few batters and looks like it could help him complete a starter’s arsenal. It’s not overpowering stuff that he possesses and it will be interesting to see how he does at the next level up, but it’s not the worst stuff either.

The issue, as mentioned, is the injuries. He missed time this year with shoulder issues, something that doesn’t bode well for a young starter. If he can stay healthy and continue to get better with his control (27 walks in 58 innings), the team might have something with a #4/5 upside. If not, he’s probably bullpen bound.