In this edition of ESNY’s New York Yankees Prospect Profile, we take a look at left-handed pitcher Ian Clarkin.
Prior to being drafted by the Yankees, Clarkin won the gold medal game for Team USA at the 2012 world 18-and-under championship. He pitched six strong innings allowing only two earned runs to power USA past Canada.
The left-hander currently stands at 6-foot-2 and weighs 190 pounds, a solid frame for a 22-year old pitcher. He has a fastball which sits in the low-mid 90’s as well as a changeup, slider, curveball and cutter.
While Clarkin has a very deep repertoire, not all of his pitches can be considered above average just yet. His changeup is currently his second-best pitch, coming up with many swings and misses.
Take a look at what scouts have to say about the rest of his skills:
Scouting grades via MLB Pipeline: Fastball: 55 / Curveball: 50 / Slider: 50 / Changeup: 55 / Control: 50 / Overall: 50
Despite being in the organization since 2013, Clarkin has not been able to see as much time on the field as he has wanted due to aggravating injuries.
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In 2014, the left-hander showed what he is made of with the Tampa Yankees and Charleston RiverDogs where he sported a 3.12 ERA in 16 starts with a 9.0 K/9.
Following this impactful 2014 campaign, expectations were high for Clarkin heading into the 2015 season. However, injuries would prevent the left-hander from even throwing a pitch the following year.
Clarkin missed the entire 2015 regular season due to elbow inflammation and spent his off time rehabbing as well as resting his inflamed left elbow.
The left-hander returned in 2016 with the Tampa Yankees where he looked as dominant as he was prior to the injury. In 18 starts, Clarkin would go 6-9 with a 3.31 ERA and 72 strikeouts.
However, the left-hander would be bitten by the injury bug once again at the end of July and would be forced to miss the rest of the season with a meniscus injury.
He is still very young at 22 years old with a bright future ahead of him, but it is unlikely he makes his way to the big leagues if he can’t find a way to stay on the field.
MLB Pipeline currently suggests that Clarkin should make his major league debut in 2018, this could very well be the case with the great amount of potential he carries. Health will be the key.