After losing almost the entire season due to Tommy John surgery, Michael Clevinger actually moved up our prospect list. How'd he manage to pull that off and what more can we expect from him now that his arm works again?
Position: RHP Highest Level: Rookie
Bats: R Throws: R Height: 6'4" Weight: 210
Age: 23 Born: 12/21/90
2013 Rank: #24
2013 Season Stats
AZL: 3 IP, 0-0, 3.00 ERA, 2 H, 2 BB, 0 HR, 3 SO, 3.20 FIP, .250 BABIP, 37.5 GB%
Orem: 2.2 IP, 0-1, 16.88 ERA, 6 H, 2 BB, 0 HR, 2 SO, 5.08 FIP, .500 BABIP, 58.3 GB%
Fastball = B
Before injury, Clevinger’s fastball was perhaps his most inconsistent pitch. In one showing earlier in the 2012 season, he hit 94-95 mph with regularity, in another showing later in the year, his fastball sat 89-91. As we know now, injury probably played a strong role in the diminished speed. If Clevinger makes a full recovery, his fastball should again reach the mid-90's.
Offspeed Pitches = B
Before injury, Clevinger offered three off-speed pitches. A very good groundball inducing slider with heavy drop, a “plus” change-up that sinks down and in on RHB and a “get me over curve” just to show hitters something different. What excites scouts most about Clevinger is that he had three "plus" graded pitches, two of which were off-speed pitches, which bodes well for his future.
Control = B
In the eight starts Clevinger made in 2012, he flashed well above average control of all of his pitches. Hopefully this quality returns for 2014 after a lost 2013.
Command = B
Part of what makes Clevinger’s off-speed pitches particularly effective is that he threw them over the plate, which is a rarity among low minor leaguers and suggests Clevinger could potentially climb the minor league ladder rather quickly once he is fully healthy.
Mechanics = D
Clevinger’s mechanics take considerable effort considering he’s a starter. This may or may not have led to the surgery and subsequent rehab year in 2014. Clevinger had a habit of not finishing his full delivery and following through as well. His three-quarter arm slot does stay consistent across every pitch though.