Minnesota Twins 2018 MLB Draft first round selection roundtable discussion
By Nate Palmer
Shane McClanahan, LHP, University of South Florida
written by Nate Palmer
Shane McClanahan is one of the most intriguing players of this draft. He has had his name at points in time associated with being worthy of the top pick in the draft consideration. While at the same time McClanahan has fallen to the back of the first round in other mock drafts. That is what happens when you are a left-handed pitcher who touches 100 mph with your fastball but also has questions surrounding the command of your pitches.
Before going to USF, McClanahan was a 26th round draft pick by the New York Mets in the 2015 MLB Draft. Since then McClanahan had to miss his freshman season due to Tommy John surgery. After returning from injury the lefty has made himself the ace of the USF staff and one of the top pitchers in Division 1 baseball as he holds the best strikeout per nine ratio of 15.06.
McClanahan’s fastball which sits 97-100 mph consistently grades out with a 70 rating from scouts. He also uses a changeup and slider which should also be plus pitches as he moves into professional baseball. The two off-speed pitches also give McClanahan the ability to be effective against both left-handed and right-handed opposing hitters.
Control is what will make or break McClanahan’s draft position. If a team thinks they can help him with those issues no one would be too shocked if he ended up as a top-10 selection. With the Twins having proclaimed pitching guru Derek Falvey in their front office, maybe they will see a pitcher they can groom if McClanahan is there for the taking at pick 20.
A hard-throwing pitcher with control issues is still a gamble and something that is a recurring theme for many failed pitching prospects. That is what will cause some teams to pass on McClanahan come draft day. It also could mean finding a diamond (ace) in the rough.