More On The Diamondbacks: Braden Shipley
The MLBPipeline.com spotlight shines on the Diamondbacks system today. Here’s a bonus item that wound up on the cutting-room floor when I wrote my Cactus League camp report from Salt River . . .
Three questions with Braden Shipley
Scouts rated Shipley as the third-best college pitcher in the 2013 Draft, so the Diamondbacks were thrilled to get him with the 15th overall pick. The first player ever taken in the first round from the University of Nevada, he orignally was recruited as a shortstop.
MLBPipeline.com: I think it’s mandatory that we ask this of all position players-turned-pitchers. Do you miss hitting?
Shipley: I do. But what’s actually been kind of fun is getting the chance to hit a little bit in camp. We had a little competition one day to see who could hit the ball back through the hole on the ball feeder, and I won it. It feels good swinging the bat. But making the transition to full-time pitcher has been fun.
MLBPipeline.com: Scouts say you have the potential for three plus pitches. How would you rank them?
Shipley: I think my fastball is definitely my best pitch. I can run it up to 97-98 mph when I want. I have that sixth gear where it kicks into overdrive. My fastball is my best pitch, then my changeup, then my curveball.
MLBPipeline.com: For a guy who can sit in the mid-90s and touch 98 mph with his fastball, scouts sure talk about your changeup a lot. Considering that you’ve only been a full-time pitcher for two years, how did you pick up a quality changeup so quickly?
Shipley: The summer after my freshman year, when I was going to Alaska to pitch, I knew the one thing I needed was a changeup. I spent so much time on my changeup and fastball up there that I lost my feel for my curveball, but in the long run, it’s been good for me. I use a modified circle changeup, my own personal touch. It’s just a feel thing. Once it got more like I wanted it to, I stuck with it. Now I can throw it like I want to, where I want to. Guys ask how I throw it and I try to help them out. It’s rewarding to get asked about it because of all the hard work I put in.