June 6, 2013
Dissecting the Draft: Braden Shipley (Player Report)
Braden Shipley | RHP | Univ. of Nevada
Shipley in 140 characters or less:
+ or better CH w/potential ++FB; good athlete that absorbs instruction; fresh arm w/durability questions; front-end upside; closer fallback.
Solid medium broad frame that holds athletic build well. Moves very well on and off mound and athleticism is apparent in all aspects of his game. Shows ability to absorb instruction and body control aids in those efforts.
Shipley shows a smooth and clean arm action and a nice mechanical foundation to grow into a good command/control guy at the next level. He oozes athleticism and utilizes that along with good flexibility and strength to create big time velocity with the fastball. He over-throws at times, which negatively impacts his in-zone command, and he will need to learn how to better pace himself over the course of both individual starts and the season as a whole. All in all, this is an excellent package with which a developmental staff can shape a potential front-end arm.
Fastball – Shipley has the mid-90s fastball that you expect out of a premier college draft prospect, and he can pound the zone with the offering. There isn't lots of life to the pitch, but it can sneak up on hitters and works extremely well as a set-up pitch for his plus or better changeup. He can elevate the ball now, but will need to be a little more surgical with the pitch at the pro ranks, or the lack of life could get him into trouble. In shorter stints, the velocity can climb as high as 98 mph.
Changeup – Shipley's changeup is among the best in the draft class, coming with excellent arm speed deception and late disappearing action or "tumble". He draws plenty of empty swings and soft contact and shows a high degree of comfort throwing the offering in various situations.
Curveball – Shipley's breaking ball is a downer curve that flashes hard action and generally sits in the 77 to 79 mph range. He lacks feel for the offering and isn't yet comfortable enough with the offering to go to it big situations, but with added attention and pro instruction he should be able to develop the offering into an average or better weapon.
Cutter – Not observed.
Shipley, similar to Kyle Zimmer last spring, gives drafting organizations the classic tradeoff of a fresh arm with limited track record and questions as to long term durability. One of the benefits of tabbing a collegiate arm in the draft is that you have a body of work to judge that includes a book on that pitcher's stuff over the course of a long season and summer ball. Shipley showed the big stuff last summer and through the first half of the spring, but ran into some inconsistencies as the conference schedule dragged on, raising questions as to exactly how he will hold up over the course of a pro season. As he continues to mature and build up endurance, Shipley's athleticism should aide the efforts in growing and refining the quality of his arsenal, including consistency of execution, and the upside is a front-end arm with a plus-plus fastball, plus to plus-plus change, and above-average breaking ball. If a pro workload proves too demanding, his aggressive demeanor on the mound and 1-2 fastball-changeup punch would make him a good candidate for late inning work.
Projected position: Front-end to mid-rotation starter; #2/#3; closer fallback
Suggested draft slot: Early-1st Round; top ten overall consideration