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The Third Pick: Taylor Clarke

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With the 3rd pick of the draft, the Arizona Diamondbacks selected RHP, control specialist, Taylor Clarke from the College of Charleston.

Taylor Clarke
6' 4" 190 lbs
RHP
College of Charleston

Clarke is has a history with Tommy John, having had the operation performed in 2013. Clarke possess a three-pitch mix of a fastball, change-up and slider. Clarke's best pitching attribute is his control. Over 210 IP, Clarke has an attractive 259:57 K:BB ratio. Clarke is the best pitcher to ever come out of the College of Charleston and had a great season in 2015, tossing 114.1 inning while leading his team to the NCAA tournament, putting together a 1.73 ERA to go along with his even more impressive 143:14 K:BB ratio (further cementing opinions of his excellent control). The fastball is a 90-94 mph offering that touches 95, but also tends to fade in velocity as he Clarke gets deep into games. Clarke prefers to work with his fastball up in the zone, and has the ability to effectively work it to both sides of the plate.

Clarke's slider is an upper-80s offering that has some hard glove-side cut to the movement. Clarke is able to effectively bury his slider on the back foot of lefties and is also able to use the pitch to get strikes pitching it front door to righties. Clarke's change-up is currently a fringy pitch, and one he has used sparingly. He will need to develop it more if he wants to pitch in a big league rotation, but his excellent command and feel for pitching make that development a strong possibility. There is some concern that Clarke will be unable to either develop his change-up enough, or that his endurance may fail him. If either of those things happen, Clarke is a bullpen talent at the big league level. If he is able to find some more lively innings in his arm and is also able to improve his change-up, Clarke projects as a middle-of-the-rotation talent.