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IBI Top 75 Prospects: #56 Casey Shane

The 2017 countdown continues with a young right-handed who has done a nice job building a foundation and improving his body since turning pro, but is now being looked at to take a significant step forward this season in his development...

56. Casey Shane – Right-handed Pitcher

Born: 8/23/1995 – Height: 6’4” – Weight: 200 – Bats: Right – Throws: Right

Facts & Info: The Indians selected Shane in the 6th round of the 2013 Draft out of Centennial High School (TX) and signed him for $150,000. He had a commitment to attend and play baseball at Texas A&M had he not signed with the Indians. After his senior season in high school in 2013 he was named a first team Rawlings All-American.

Stuff: Shane is a big, strong pitcher with a solid three pitch mix and a really heavy ball that produces a lot of groundballs. He features a solid average two-seam fastball that comfortably sits at 89-93 MPH and will touch 94 MPH, and shows some very good, heavy sink and tailing action to the bottom of the zone. His average velocity continues to make incremental improvements and showed an incremental improvement last season, and he’s also made some strides in consistently locating his fastball down in the zone as it has a tendency to flatten out when he is up in the zone with it. His best secondary offering is an average changeup which he shows a good feel for and a lot of confidence to use in any count or situation. It has some good depth to it and has the upside to be more as he learns to command it better and adds more deception and movement to it. He mixes in a developing slider that shows some good late bite and swing and miss ability, and has the potential to be an average offering for him.

Delivery & Intangibles: Shane has the frame and body type that should lead to a lot of durability with the ability to handle a large workload and eat lots of innings. He has really shown a commitment to his work in his strength and conditioning program since his draft year and alleviated concerns over his weight and work ethic issues going into the draft. He has really made some nice changes to his body since turning pro and shown some advanced maturity for his age. He has a good delivery that he continues to refine and does a nice job of consistently getting his pitches on a good downward plane. He has an aggressive approach on the mound to get ahead of hitters and is very mentally tough where he really shows no fear and maintains his composure even in the tightest spots. He is a plus makeup guy who does a nice job with his work and preparations on and off the mound.

Focus: While the numbers for Shane were subpar last season, they were more a result of inconsistency than a lack of talent and stuff. He has a tendency to nibble when he gets ahead, so the Indians want him to work to be more aggressive and attack hitters when he gets ahead in order to finish them off with a strikeout or weak contact so that he keeps his pitch count down and keeps them in more of a defensive mode rather than letting them get back into the count that is more in their favor where they can go on the offensive. He also needs more development in his pitch sequencing to show more trust in his stuff and a willingness to mix and throw his offspeed in off counts. His slider is a big key for him as it is the third pitch he needs to attack hitters as a starter and is working to add more deception and later depth to it so that it can see a bump in its effectiveness. He had some bouts with command issues last season, which is to be expected for his age, but his struggles mostly resulted from pitching out of the stretch as he has a tendency to disconnect with his lower half as he works down the slope which results in velocity and command inconsistencies. The Indians believe that if he is able to more consistently stay connected throughout his delivery that he will eliminate a lot of the inconsistencies with it when he pitches out of the stretch, and thus, see more power to his stuff and more consistency to his performance.

Future: Last year was a big foundational year for Shane as the Indians let the reigns go so to speak where he was allowed to make 27 starts and haul close to 130 innings. He started off well as he was 3-1 with a 2.35 ERA in six starts to open the season, but inconsistency set in and resulted in an up and down showing the rest of the way. His value slipped a little bit as a result, but he’s still another lower level pitcher who many in the industry are very interested in and believe has the potential to be a nice innings eating workhorse in a rotation if he is able to develop his secondary stuff, improve his command and stay healthy. The Indians have taken a level-by-level approach in their development of him to this point as in each of his last three full seasons in the organization he spent a high percentage of his season with rookie Arizona (2014), Short-A Mahoning Valley (2015) and Low-A Lake County (2016), and that pattern should continue with him opening the season at High-A Lynchburg - though there is a chance he could open the season with a repeat assignment at Low-A Lake County to start the year before moving up to Lynchburg later in the season.

Ranking History: #36 (2016), #37 (2015), #48 (2014)

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