Many Yankees fans and media members have said that the Yankees need a lefty in their rotation. With the ever escalating cost for acquiring pitching, it’s easy to see why Ian Clarkin is so important to the Yankees future.
Clarkin was drafted in the first round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of high school, the same round that also saw the team select recently dealt Eric Jagielo and top prospect Aaron Judge. The Yankees made the selection hoping that he could eventually become a fixture in their rotation for years to come.
The 2014 season would give a glimpse into Clarkin’s potential, as he put up a 3.12 earned run average and struck out 75 batters in 75 innings pitched.
Unfortunately 2015 wouldn’t be as kind as the year before. The dreaded elbow inflammation would end up costing him most of his season, as well as important development time.
After rehabbing and rest, Clarkin would return to the mound in the Arizona Fall League. That was an important hurdle for the lefty as he was able to pitch 24.2 innings without further inflammation.
Clarkin has the projection to be a frontline starter at the big league level and will only be 21-years old this upcoming season. His pitching repertoire includes a low-90’s sinking fastball, a 12-6 curve, change and a cutter. A lefty with this type of stuff would fit Yankee Stadium perfectly, as he is also a groundball machine.
Ian Clarkin should begin 2016 as a member of Pat Osborn’s rotation in Tampa. If he can remain healthy for the entire season it’s very possible that Clarkin will make the jump to Double-A Trenton, by season’s end. Health is the key. If he remains healthy in 2016, he could be knocking on the door step in the Bronx as soon as late-2017.