The New York Yankees rounded out the last of their three first-round picks in the 2013 MLB Draft by selecting Ian Clarkin 33rd overall, as compensation for losing Rafael Soriano to the Washington Nationals.
Clarkin is a left-handed pitcher out of James Madison High School in California; the only pitcher and the only high schooler the Yankees took in the first round. Clarkin was slated to go mid first round in many mock drafts, but slipped so low as to just make it in the first, a good thing since he was there in the studio to receive his jersey, cap, and obligatory photo with Bud Selig.
Clarkin went 9-2 in his final season, notching 133 strikeouts in 73.1 innings pitched.
The most impressive thing about Clarkin seems to be his curveball, which some scouts believe to be the best curveball in all high school baseball.
In addition to his superb curveball, the 18-year-old has a fastball and a changeup. His fastball tops out at 94 mph, but by all accounts seems to be plagued from time to time with control issues, and his changeup is nothing to write home about.
But with his curve, and time in the minors to work on his fastball command, the final pick of the first round could be a very smart one for the Yankees, picking a lefty who has good numbers in high school and who already has three established pitches.
Clarkin looks good in the video, but he definitely has things to work on while he works his way up to the big leagues. His mechanics are not as smooth as they could be, with a high leg kick and a differing release point, likely adding to his fastball command struggles, but also his strong delivery.
Overall, the Yankees were clear about what they wanted in their first three round picks, with two power hitting position players out of college, and an unpredictable lefty out of high school. Since Clarkin was at the draft, we got to see his personality, and initially it is easy to see that he is comfortable with the media, a trait that not many high school draftees possess.
He is currently committed to attend the University of San Diego. But if he signs, it would be a plus for the Yankees to have a good lefty rising up through their system, already possessing the kind of talent that he has.
He mentioned that his favorite baseball moment was when the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Yankees in the 2001 World Series; he will have to become a Yankee fan fast.