The first round of the MLB draft will be held on June 4th. For the teams that have an early pick on day one, it is essential for them to get a player who can help them. While drafting a player is not an exact science, teams do their best to ensure they are getting a talented player who can move quickly up the system and help them reach the ultimate goal. College players tend to be more refined and closer to being major league ready. High school players can be taught by the organization’s own coaches but require longer time in the minors. Depending on a team’s needs and evaluation of talent, the draft picks tend to vary in age and maturity level.
Shane McClanahan 2018 Draft Profile
Shane McClanahan is a left-handed starter for the University of South Florida Bulls. McClanahan dominated at Cape Coral HS in Florida. He ended his high school career with a 29-7 record along with a 1.02 ERA and 187 Ks in 123 IP. The New York Mets drafted him in the 26th round of the 2015 draft. McClanahan decided to go to college at the University of South Florida. He missed all of 2016 due to Tommy John surgery. He came back strong in 2017 as a redshirt freshman. In his 15 starts he had a 4-2 record with a 3.20 ERA along with 104 Ks in 76 IP. This year he is getting better. He currently stands with a 5-5 record, a 2.84 ERA, and 107 Ks in just 63.1 IP.
McClanahan is a left-handed pitcher that sits anywhere from 92-96 with his fastball and can touch triple digits on occasion. That alone makes him extremely valuable. He also has a plus changeup which he throws from 82-86. The difference in velocity is already at an elite level. He keeps hitters off balance and has the stuff to put them away. McClanahan also has an attacking mentality and has a knack for knowing when he has the hitter where he wants them. The slider has shown improvement and has good horizontal break at about 88 mph.
McClanahan needs to work on his control. Although he has improved slightly in this area, cutting down on the 4.50 BB/9 he has in college will go a long way to major league success. He also isn’t the biggest guy at 6’1 175lbs. Considering he has had surgery already, this could be a red flag for a team looking for him to anchor their staff and toss 200 innings a year. His mechanics are different as he tends to stand straight up after release instead of driving down toward the plate. His follow through is similar to Jeff Samardzija. This makes it more difficult to repeat his mechanics and get consistent command.
McClanahan is projected to go anywhere from 3-8 in the draft. Ironically, the New York Mets, who originally drafted him in 2015, pick at number six. They also have Dave Eiland as their pitching coach who attended USF. McClanahan has an incredible arm and as much raw talent as any player in the draft. To-do list for Shane McClanahan: Add weight, a third plus offering, and repeatable mechanics. If he can do those three things to add command and durability to his already electric arm, he can be an ace at the major league level.
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