Drafted No. 15 overall last season by the Arizona Diamondbacks, Braden Shipley came in to the minor leagues with high expectations. He fell further in the draft than many people expected, and lots of experts said that the Diamondbacks ended up with a steal. Coming out of Nevada, Shipley was projected to be a top-10 pick in last year’s draft, mostly because of his high ceiling.
Converted from a position player to a pitcher in just his Sophomore year of college, Shipley has the stuff of a top-10 pick, but seems to lack the feel for pitching that most of the other top prospects possessed. This was to be expected — after all this was only his second full season on the mound.
Last year, Shipley started off the season in Low-A Hillsboro, and while he struggled mightily, he was promoted to High-A South Bend where he pitched very well. In four starts at that level, he posted a 2.61 ERA. He showed great command of the strike zone for someone with his background, and highlighted his phenomenal stuff.
This season, he has started off pitching extremely well, and while he struggled a bit in his third start, he posted an ERA of 0.79. He also showed great poise on the mound, giving up just 2.2 BB/9 innings while also striking out 8.3 batters per 9 innings.
Coming in to the season, Shipley was almost unanimously considered the Diamondbacks’ No. 2 prospect behind Archie Bradley. While Shipley has by no means passed Bradley as a prospect, he has certainly been more impressive, and has shown the potential to possibly be a No. 2 starter in the future. With such a young ace in Patrick Corbin, as well as Shipley and Bradley already in tow, the Diamondbacks’ pitching staff looks to be a force to be reckoned with in the future.