The New York Yankees got the best curveball among all the high school pitchers in the 2013 MLB Draft when they selected left-handed pitcher Ian Clarkin with the 33rd overall pick. The San Diego native is listed at 6-foot-2 and 190 lbs. He is committed to San Diego State University and is no sure thing to sign with the Yankees.
However, if Clarkin does sign the Yankees will get a fairly polished pitcher from the high school ranks. He owns a very good fastball that tops out at 94 MPH but usually sits at 92 MPH or so. He has a power curveball that he uses to miss bats. His third pitch is a changeup that, unsurprisingly at this stage of his development, needs some work.
Baseball America ranked Clarkin as the 17th best prospect while Keith Law had him ranked 64th. However, a big left-hander with a knockout curve should expect to go in the first round and it was a little surprising that Clarkin fell to the Yankees at 33 but that could be because of his college commitment.
With two college players taken ahead of Clarkin the Yankees can afford to send more of the draft pool money towards Clarkin to entice him to sign. Clarkin was a self-proclaimed Yankee-hater growing up but that was before and it shouldn’t play a role in whether he signs or not.
I have seen some people compare him to Clayton Kershaw but that is a little bit of a best-case scenario projection. I see Clarkin as a left-handed version of former Yankee and current Arizona Diamondback Ian Kennedy. The difference is Clarkin is a lot more developed than Kennedy was at this time in his career and Clarkin’s curve should be better but his lack of a developed changeup and fourth pitch might hinder Clarkin a little bit.
Ultimately, if Clarkin signs, he should be in the Bronx in three or four years. If he sticks in the rotation he could be a two or three starter or a shut-down reliever in the mold of David Robertson.