Prospect Countdown #60 : Jordan Kipper

Top 100 Los Angeles Angels' Prospects Countdown, #60 : Right-Handed Pitcher, Jordan Kipper (photo : Jerry Espinoza)

Jordan Kipper, Right-Handed Pitcher

HT : 6'4
WT : 185
DOB : October 6, 1992 (23), in Phoenix, Arizona
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : Texas Christian University (Fort Worth, TX)
Acquired : Drafted in 9th Round of 2014 MLB Draft
Last Year's Ranking : #66


Guys with over powering stuff are always fun to watch, but hardly anyone gets the job done like a ground ball pitcher. The Los Angeles Angels found that in Jordan Kipper, who has been mastering the ground ball technique through the Angels farm system the past two seasons. As Kipper keeps his Major League dreams in tact, we show you what makes his artistry so special.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Kipper is a magician of forcing weak contact, which in result turns to a high ground ball total (55% last season). This is primarily helped by a true sinker that sits anywhere from 88-94 on any given night. Kipper's can change spin and speed of his sinker, running it as a two-seam and sinking it with an adjustment of his wrist.

Kipper uses command of his sinker as his best asset on the mound. He has the ability to throw all his pitches for strikes, but none better than his sinker. He's made some mechanical adjustments as a professional to gain velocity and better action to the pitch.

His sinker sets up his off-speed offerings, primarily a late breaking slider. Kipper's slider comes in from a fastball plane, breaking away from right-handed batters to be impactful in changing speeds and forcing swing and misses.

Along with his mid 80's slider, Kipper mixes in a fringe changeup to change speeds. He shied away from it upon his professional debut, but was forced to use it as a starter this past season. It comes in roughly 10 miles per hour slower than his fastball and allows him to challenge left-handed bats with ease.

Kipper also has a curveball as a "show me" offering, which has shown strong development, along with his changeup. Coaches gave Kipper praise for his hard work in improving these pitches, primarily while using them in big moment, in-game scenarios.

Kipper was blessed with the genetics of a perfect pitcher's frame and mentality. He has a strong frame at six-foot-four and 185 pounds of the right weight, mostly muscle. This allows him to stay loose and maintain his arm action throughout performances. Kipper also had the help of his grandfather, Thornton, who pitched four years in the Majors. This gave him an early start in learning what it takes to be a professional ballplayer.

VIDEO : Jordan Kipper

Scouting Report from Taylor Blake Ward - Senior Publisher for Scout.com


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

At Mountain Point High School, Kipper was a three-letter winner, spending time with brother of Angels C.J. Cron, Kevin Cron. Kipper earned 2011 Perfect Game All-West Region honorable mentions, 2010 Perfect Game Underclassman honorable mentions and All-American honors while at Mountain Point. His prep highlight was a walkoff single, clinching the 5A Division I Championship in his final high school plate appearance.

Kipper was honored for his two seasons as Central Arizona College. While there, he held a 19-5 record while allowing 40 runs in 172.1 innings (2.08 ERA), while striking out 149. The honors Kipper received were Central Arizona Male Athlete of the Year as a freshman, Second-Team All-American honors as a sophomore, as well as First-Team All-Conference selection in his sophomore season.

Kipper's final collegiate season came at TCU, where he posted a 3.23 ERA while holding bats to a .234 average. The Frogs went 11-6 in games Kipper pitched, and 10-2 in games he started. Kipper finished fourth at TCU that season with 75.1 innings pitched, all while striking out 8.84 per nine, helping him be named a Big 12 Baseball Championships All-Tournament selection.

Upon being drafted, Kipper shined in Rookie Ball, posting a season 2.73 ERA and 1.291 WHIP. Nine of his 14 appearances went scoreless, including eight in his final 11 appearances. Kipper was best suited on the road, where he held bats to a .216/.281/.216 slash, never allowing an extra-base hit.

Kipper was consistent this past season in High-A, but was plagued by the hitter friendly Cal League parks on the road. In home performances, Kipper posted a 3.59 ERA and 1.220 WHIP, but was the exact opposite on the road, posting a 9.06 ERA and 1.867 WHIP, faltering his record at 6-12.


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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Kipper made the leap from Rookie Ball to High-A in 2015, and it proved to maybe be slightly too much for the young pitcher. He showed hard work ethic, but the numbers never translated. It's likely he'll return to High-A as a 23-year-old, matching him up in age with the majority of the league.

The Angels were aggressive with Kipper this past year, putting him in High-A possibly too soon. They'll rarely make the same mistake twice, and maintain a steady pace with Kipper. The tools are evident to make him a potential back end of the rotation arm at the Major League level. As long as the hard work translates to his on field performance, nothing is holding back Kipper from that possibility.



For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, their prospects, and our Top 100 Prospects Countdown, follow us on Twitter, @AngelsOnScout. Keep up with our countdown on Twitter with the hashtag, #LAATop100Prospects.

This article was published by Taylor Blake Ward, who serves as a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.



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