Trevor Clifton, RHP, Chicago Cubs
Clifton has had success at both the AA and AAA level within the Cubs organization. He could easily be used as a long reliever or spot starter. He’s the 17th ranked prospect in the Cubs system and has a plus fastball, and average offerings all around. His only below average trait is his control.
In 2018, he made 12 starts in AA with the Tennessee Smokies, going 56.2 innings and striking out 45 while walking 23. After making the jump to AAA he walked 29 and struck out 56. Clifton’s biggest knocks are his command, obviously, as he walked 52 in 126 innings pitched. Surprisingly, he doesn’t strike a lot of guys out despite the solid fastball.
If Clifton were to come in, you’d see a very similar pitcher to Ty Blach, except he’d have a little more on his fastballs. Clifton obviously has talent, and has pitched above the AA level, which is big, meaning his “shock” in jumping to the big leagues wouldn’t be as great. While he showed improvements in his command, it’s still probably not big league level yet. Think more along the lines of Tyler Beede, except you didn’t waste a high draft pick on him.
Clifton is intriguing mainly because of his ERA and opponents average at levels above AA. The intrigue isn’t their in terms of a high ceiling though, and that’s usually why teams pick players in this draft. Clifton wouldn’t be good enough to be on the 40 man roster in the Giants organization, so I wouldn’t expect them to pick him. However, he could turn out to be a more diamond in the rough pick if they were to go the rebuilding route.