Diamondbacks Select LHP Andrew Chafin with #43 Pick in MLB Draft

UPDATED: Alright, time to get a legitimate write-up in here about our Supplemental Round selection, left-hander Andrew Chafin from Kent State University.  After the break we'll have basic bio info for Chafin, my impressions of the young man selected 43rd overall, and where I think he already slots in the team's prospect hierarchy.

Andrew Chafin, LHP

School: Kent State University

Ht/Wt: 6'2"/210

Birthday: June 17, 1990

Age: 20 years old

Keith Law's Top-100 Rank: #47

BA's Top-200 Rank: #38

 

The first detail you'll probably hear about Chafin from the draft pundits of the world is the fact that he missed the entire 2010 college baseball season recovering from Tommy John ligament replacement surgery.  However, the surgery has not derailed Chafin's stuff, as he has reached up to 95 mph on radar guns during workouts, and will sit in the low-to-mid-90's as a starter.  He can command the fastball to both sides of the plate, even since the surgery, which can limit fastball command for quite a while.  His primary off-speed offering, his slider, earns some 70 grades (two separate links) according to BA on the 20-80 scouting scale (though it's worth noting that BA is considerably higher on Chafin than Law, as noted above).  That's two above-average-to-plus pitches from the left-side, so there's considerable upside here for a college Supplemental Round pick.

On the downside, I've heard mixed reports on Chafin's off-speed offerings.  The change-up appears to definitely be a work-in-progress, though BA again feels like it's showing signs of being an average pitch.  Additionally, in spite of reports that the slider is comfortably plus, I've read that his ability to command it can be a little spotty since the surgery (this is from Law, the more bearish of the sources on Chafin).  Regardless, though, both of the offerings could continue to dramatically improve the further separated he gets from his surgery.  If that happens, Chafin's body, above-average-to-plus velocity from the left side, and typically-clean delivery give him potential as a mid-rotation starter - I see workhorse a #3 starter as the ceiling for Chafin.  If the off-speed offerings don't progress as hoped and starting isn't an option, he'll be a nice relief option due to his left-handed velocity and potentially wipe-out slider.

Chafin will likely join the Visalia rotation once he signs with the D-backs, and could get in a little more work this year.  On the other hand, though, he might be shut down this year after missing all of last year with the surgery and working as a reliever during his Freshman season.  I'm sure the D-backs have a plan for Chafin, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens.  For what it's worth, I think Chafin's combination of a mid-rotation ceiling and two currently above-average-or-better pitches puts him at the top of the team's second tier of pitching prospects, so I would currently put him at #9 in the system, just behind Chris Owings and just ahead of Patrick Corbin.  So, yes, that means that I think we added three top-10 prospects (in a loaded system) in one day of the draft.  It's a good day to be a D-backs fan.

Unfortunately, the YouTube gods had no throwing motion footage available for Chafin.  Rare to see them come up short, but we'll have to do without video of the newerestest D-backs prospect.

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