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MLB Draft Profile: RHP Braden Shipley

General consensus places Shipley behind only Appel and Gray in the college pitching ranks.

Braden Shipley

Braden Shipley
Pos High School / College Consensus Rank
University of Nevada
early 1st round
B/T Birthdate (age) Height / Weight
R/R 2/22/92 (21) 6'3" / 190 lbs

Given how polished he is, you would never guess that Shipley is a converted infielder -- having taken on pitching duties in his junior year of high school. Tony Cappuccilli, Branden’s former coach says he has the best pure stuff that he’s ever seen -- and that is high praise coming from someone who, as a catcher, caught Major Leaguers Chad Qualls, Darrell Rasner and Eddie Bonine. After an already excellent sophomore season, Shipley was even more impressive in his junior year. His success stems from his advanced arsenal of three pitches. His fastball sizzles, sitting in the mid-90s and maxing out at 97, 98 MPH. His change-up is advanced, and thrown at the same angle and speed as his fastball, giving it maximum deception. His curveball, the weakest of his three pitches, breaks hard and shows flashes of being a third plus pitch. With his work ethic, it isn’t difficult to expect that pitch to improve.

The one knock against his pitches is that he sometimes has difficulty throwing his fastball and curveball for strikes, but with nearly a 3:1 K:BB ratio, Braden has plenty of margin for error while working on his command. From a high ¾ arm slot, Shipley hides the ball well, and is very fluid in his wind-up and delivery. He pushes far off the mound, and puts his trunk into his delivery. In the past two years, Shipley has put on about 30 pounds of muscle, and his frame could stand to put on more, increasing his already impressive strength and stamina.

Video (via ESPN Insider):

What the scouts are saying:

Keith Law, ESPN:

"He's hit 99 mph but pitches more at 92-95, throwing strikes with an easy, low-effort delivery. His best pitch is his changeup, a plus offering at 83-86 mph with great arm speed and heavy late action on it. His curveball is just average now, 78-80 with some angle to it and plenty of depth."

Aaron Fitt, Baseball America:

"Scouts love Shipley’s athleticism, easy arm action and prototypical 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame. Shipley said his grandfather told him in the last few years that he is related to Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Jordan Shipley — but Braden might be the family’s best athlete."

What Alex is saying:

"While he’s not Mark Appel or Jonathan Gray, Braden Shipley is a top player on my draft board, and I expect him to do well. He’s got a great fastball that brushes 97, and he’s shown an excellent changeup that has both bite and fade. Quite frankly, it has the potential to be the best changeup in this year’s draft--he just needs a little more consistency with it. Unfortunately, he barely throws his breaking ball, a trend that will need to stop as he progresses through the minors, though he does have a feel for a good, high-70s curve with sharp drop. He’s only been pitching full-time for a couple of years, so he’s going to need some polish, but he already has a clean delivery and a very short arm action. I like Braden Shipley a lot, and there’s a high ceiling here."