Behind the consensus top two picks, Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray, Braden Shipley may have the next best chance to succeed in the major leagues. The Nevada ace had just as electric stuff as Sean Manaea and Ryne Stanek, and is better with his secondary pitches and control. Plus, unlike either of them, Shipley is on an upward trend. While both Manaea and Stanek had rough springs which dropped them on draft boards, Shipley soared up draft boards with an excellent junior year.
Like Manaea and Stanek, he throws very hard as the right-handed Shipley has touched as high as 98 mph with his fastball. Shipley also throws a change and a curve which should be at least major league average in setting up his fastball. He has a smooth delivery with repeatable mechanics and has a great pitching frame at 6’3″, 190 lbs.
With his pure stuff, Shipley has the potential to be a very good starting pitcher– perhaps a second or third starter. He has some work to do with his command and secondary pitches, but if he doesn’t develop properly, he could be a high leverage reliever. Shipley may fall in with Colin Moran as the “safe picks” in this year’s draft, and I would not at all be surprised or disappointed if the Red Sox draft either of them.