One of the most raw talents in the system of the Arizona Diamondbacks is pitcher Braden Shipley. However, “raw” does not mean “without ability”. The 21-year old Shipley went to the University of Nevada on a baseball scholarship but as a shortstop. As a freshman, the Oregon native was a second team All MWC (Mountain West Conference) selection. However, he was converted to a full time pitcher before his sophomore season and has never looked back.
In his his second season with the Wolf Pack, Shipley went 9-4 with a 2.20 ERA to earn the Conference’s Pitcher of the Year title. The next year, he went 7-3 with a 2.77 ERA to capture Co-Pitcher of the year along with UNLV’s (and Pirate farmhand) Buddy Borden. Shipley ranks sixth in school history with 203 career strikeouts. After being taken with the 15th overall selection in 2013, Shipley headed first to low Class A Hillsboro and then earned a promotion to Mid-Class A South Bend. In 12 starts, the righty pitched a total of 39 2/3 innings allowing 44 hits and 14 walks while striking out 40. The record was 0-3 with a 4.99 ERA.
Shipley’s fastball has been clocked as high as 98 MPH. As you would expect, he could use some work on his other pitches with his changeup being the most developed. His curve has made some strides and with his shortstop background, he is an excellent fielder. Currently ranked as the D’backs’ #3 prospect, Shipley could easily finish 2014 at Triple A Reno. His expected time of arrival to the Majors is 2016 although if he can master all three pitches he could be at Chase Field sooner.