Top 50 Scouting Report: #27 RHP Stephen Clyne

The Mets drafted the right-hander out of Clemson University in the supplemental third round of the 2007 MLB Draft. Armed with a heavy sinker and a fierce attitude, Clyne was electric this season out of the Cyclones' bullpen. Here is a scouting report on Brooklyn reliever Stephen Clyne.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Stephen Clyne
Position: Relief Pitcher
DOB: September 22, 1984
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 215
Throws: Right
Bats: Switch

Stephen Clyne arrived on the scene fresh off a long career at Clemson University where he was exclusively used as a middle reliever. In his last three years pitching for one the most elite programs in college baseball, he compiled a 8-3 record with a 2.82 ERA in 98.2 innings pitched. Yet even with all that experience, Clyne reported to Brooklyn with very little idea of what to expect.

He hit some bumps early on as he adapted to the professional ranks, struggling with his command as he learned the finicky differences between what he now faced and what he was experienced in college.

"I've got to admit, I was nervous when I first got to the team and the season started and I had to get used to the differences, especially the strike zone and for me, as a sinkerballer, I had to get used to the difference in the seams in the ball. It sounds odd, but I had to get used to the narrower seams and how to throw my sinker with them," he explained.

Aside from the ball, Cyclones pitching coach Hector Berrios wanted to change Clyne's tempo on the mound. Throughout his college days he was more of a catch-and-throw pitcher, not too concerned about pitch counts or selections. Berrios worked with him on building and executing a plan.

"At Clemson, I was a real fast paced guy on the mound. I didn't really think about each step, I just threw. I rushed a lot when I started here, so the coaches really worked to slow me down pitch by pitch. The coaches helped me realize that if I slowed down my speed on the mound, I would probably become strong and more effective" said Clyne.

Though he was very sharp in the first half of the season, his improvements were more evident after the All-Star break. He posted a 1-1 record with a 2.25 ERA and seven saves in 16 innings [13 appearances], but his 12 walks allowed were indicative of the struggles he had to work out. He followed that up in the second half with a 1.74 ERA and 14 strikeouts with just seven walks.

He grew more consistent during his last 10.1 innings pitched in seven appearances. He surrendered just two earned runs during that time as his approach and repertoire both strengthened..

He pounds the lower half of the strike zone with his low-to-mid 90's sinking fastball, complimenting it with a curveball and slider. However it was the maturation of his changeup, which had not thrown until he reached Brooklyn, which would make him even tougher to hit. Clyne quickly caught on to the directions of pitching coordinator Rick Waits, and soon after the changeup became his go-to second option.

"I never threw a changeup in college, but after working with Rick Waits, it didn't take long for me to get to the hang of it. I developed a lot of confidence with the pitch and I love throwing it now any time in the count," he said.

Though he saved games early in the season, upon Eddie Kunz's addition to the roster Clyne was able to slide back into his more natural role of being the late inning bridge. It is a role that he relishes and takes great pride in doing well.

"I enjoy the pressures of coming out of the bullpen. I think I thrive on the pressure. I came into pressure situations all the time during college. To me, nothing is better than coming in with runners on first and second and being able to help out my starting pitcher," he said.

Clyne will continue to get plenty of chances next year and beyond. His full arsenal has really impressed coaches and coordinators and his combination of velocity, diversity and hunger to excel should put him in a position to perform to expectations. He has drawn past comparisons to Joe Smith—the former Mets farmhand who rocketed his way to the big leagues in one-plus year. While Clyne is flattered by the association, he will not overlook the work that lies ahead.

"I had some great coaches in Brooklyn who taught me a lot about the game. I'm taking it pitch by pitch and batter by batter which is what really helped me grow as a guy out of the bullpen. But, there is a lot of work to do and I'm looking forward to spring training next year and see what I can bring to the table," he concluded.

Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2007

Brooklyn

1-1

8

26.1

21

19

30

2.14



Repertoire: Fastball, Slider, Curveball, Changeup

Fastball: Clyne only throws only a heavy, sinking two-seam fastball and uses it as his primary pitch. It is unquestionably his best pitch which he throws on average at 92 MPH, but he can top it off at 94-95 MPH when he really gears up. It is most effective against right-handers as it darts hard through the strike zone under their hands, but he can get lefties to turn it over when he throws it down away from them. He can sneak it by hitters in two-strike counts, but he employs the pitch to induce a high rate of groundballs.

Other Pitches: He uses his slider more often to righties, typically throwing it at 78-81 MPH. He can spin the pitch across the strike zone, spotting it down and away, though he will not hesitate to backdoor the pitch on the inside corner. His mid-70's curveball has much slower and larger break. He throws it with much less frequency than his slider and uses it primarily against lefties, aiming it down and in. This was the first year he threw a changeup and the pitch rapidly developed. He throws it in the high-70's with good downward movement similar to his sinker, making the pitch very deceptive to hitters on both sides of the plate.

Pitching: Clyne is a pronounced groundball pitcher. Though he gets his share of strikeouts, his game is all about working the bottom half of the strike zone and letting his defense do the rest. He has very good velocity and does exert too much effort to reach it. He likes to work quickly and stay ahead of hitters so he can keep pumping away with his fastball.

Projection: With his strong fastball a natural ability to get groundballs, Clyne could be a valuable piece to the Mets bullpen because he can get out of jams with just one pitch. He would fit in as a specialist at the major league level, but with his good velocity and improving changeup, and if he can execute his slider against left-handers, he there is a good chance he could become a reliable late-inning link to the closer. At the highest end of his projection, he could become an eighth inning setup man.

ETA: 2010. After a fine first season in Brooklyn, Clyne should begin next season in St. Lucie where he will be tested against much stiffer competition. If he pitches well there, he may see time at Binghamton sometime during 2008, but it is expected Clyne will spend two more full seasons in the system before making it to the big leagues starting in 2010. However, if his repertoire develops at a quicker rate than anticipated, it is possible that his ETA could be moved up a year.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nVital Statistics:
\r\nName: Stephen Clyne
\r\nPosition: Relief Pitcher
\r\nDOB: September 22, 1984
\r\nHeight: 6'2\"
\r\nWeight: 215
\r\nThrows: Right
\r\nBats: Switch
\r\n
\r\nStephen Clyne arrived on the scene fresh off a long career at Clemson University where he was exclusively used as a middle reliever. In his last three years pitching for one the most elite programs in college baseball, he compiled a 8-3 record with a 2.82 ERA in 98.2 innings pitched. Yet even with all that experience, Clyne reported to Brooklyn with very little idea of what to expect.
\r\n
\r\nHe hit some bumps early on as he adapted to the professional ranks, struggling with his command as he learned the finicky differences between what he now faced and what he was experienced in college.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've got to admit, I was nervous when I first got to the team and the season started and I had to get used to the differences, especially the strike zone and for me, as a sinkerballer, I had to get used to the difference in the seams in the ball. It sounds odd, but I had to get used to the narrower seams and how to throw my sinker with them,\" he explained.
\r\n
\r\nAside from the ball, Cyclones pitching coach Hector Berrios wanted to change Clyne's tempo on the mound. Throughout his college days he was more of a catch-and-throw pitcher, not too concerned about pitch counts or selections. Berrios worked with him on building and executing a plan.
\r\n
\r\n\"At Clemson, I was a real fast paced guy on the mound. I didn't really think about each step, I just threw. I rushed a lot when I started here, so the coaches really worked to slow me down pitch by pitch. The coaches helped me realize that if I slowed down my speed on the mound, I would probably become strong and more effective\" said Clyne.
\r\n
\r\nThough he was very sharp in the first half of the season, his improvements were more evident after the All-Star break. He posted a 1-1 record with a 2.25 ERA and seven saves in 16 innings [13 appearances], but his 12 walks allowed were indicative of the struggles he had to work out. He followed that up in the second half with a 1.74 ERA and 14 strikeouts with just seven walks.
\r\n
\r\nHe grew more consistent during his last 10.1 innings pitched in seven appearances. He surrendered just two earned runs during that time as his approach and repertoire both strengthened..
\r\n
\r\nHe pounds the lower half of the strike zone with his low-to-mid 90's sinking fastball, complimenting it with a curveball and slider. However it was the maturation of his changeup, which had not thrown until he reached Brooklyn, which would make him even tougher to hit. Clyne quickly caught on to the directions of pitching coordinator Rick Waits, and soon after the changeup became his go-to second option.
\r\n
\r\n\"I never threw a changeup in college, but after working with Rick Waits, it didn't take long for me to get to the hang of it. I developed a lot of confidence with the pitch and I love throwing it now any time in the count,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\nThough he saved games early in the season, upon Eddie Kunz's addition to the roster Clyne was able to slide back into his more natural role of being the late inning bridge. It is a role that he relishes and takes great pride in doing well.
\r\n
\r\n\"I enjoy the pressures of coming out of the bullpen. I think I thrive on the pressure. I came into pressure situations all the time during college. To me, nothing is better than coming in with runners on first and second and being able to help out my starting pitcher,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\nClyne will continue to get plenty of chances next year and beyond. His full arsenal has really impressed coaches and coordinators and his combination of velocity, diversity and hunger to excel should put him in a position to perform to expectations. He has drawn past comparisons to Joe Smith—the former Mets farmhand who rocketed his way to the big leagues in one-plus year. While Clyne is flattered by the association, he will not overlook the work that lies ahead.
\r\n
\r\n\"I had some great coaches in Brooklyn who taught me a lot about the game. I'm taking it pitch by pitch and batter by batter which is what really helped me grow as a guy out of the bullpen. But, there is a lot of work to do and I'm looking forward to spring training next year and see what I can bring to the table,\" he concluded.
\r\n
\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

Year

\r\n

\r\n Team

\r\n

\r\n W-L

\r\n

\r\n SV

\r\n

\r\n IP

\r\n

\r\n Hits

\r\n

\r\n BB

\r\n

K

\r\n

\r\n ERA

\r\n

\r\n 2007

\r\n

\r\n Brooklyn

\r\n

\r\n 1-1

\r\n

\r\n 8

\r\n

\r\n 26.1

\r\n

\r\n 21

\r\n

\r\n 19

\r\n

\r\n 30

\r\n

\r\n 2.14


\r\n
\r\nRepertoire: Fastball, Slider, Curveball, Changeup
\r\n
\r\nFastball: Clyne only throws only a heavy, sinking two-seam fastball and uses it as his primary pitch. It is unquestionably his best pitch which he throws on average at 92 MPH, but he can top it off at 94-95 MPH when he really gears up. It is most effective against right-handers as it darts hard through the strike zone under their hands, but he can get lefties to turn it over when he throws it down away from them. He can sneak it by hitters in two-strike counts, but he employs the pitch to induce a high rate of groundballs.
\r\n
\r\nOther Pitches: He uses his slider more often to righties, typically throwing it at 78-81 MPH. He can spin the pitch across the strike zone, spotting it down and away, though he will not hesitate to backdoor the pitch on the inside corner. His mid-70's curveball has much slower and larger break. He throws it with much less frequency than his slider and uses it primarily against lefties, aiming it down and in. This was the first year he threw a changeup and the pitch rapidly developed. He throws it in the high-70's with good downward movement similar to his sinker, making the pitch very deceptive to hitters on both sides of the plate.
\r\n
\r\nPitching: Clyne is a pronounced groundball pitcher. Though he gets his share of strikeouts, his game is all about working the bottom half of the strike zone and letting his defense do the rest. He has very good velocity and does exert too much effort to reach it. He likes to work quickly and stay ahead of hitters so he can keep pumping away with his fastball.
\r\n
\r\nProjection: With his strong fastball a natural ability to get groundballs, Clyne could be a valuable piece to the Mets bullpen because he can get out of jams with just one pitch. He would fit in as a specialist at the major league level, but with his good velocity and improving changeup, and if he can execute his slider against left-handers, he there is a good chance he could become a reliable late-inning link to the closer. At the highest end of his projection, he could become an eighth inning setup man.
\r\n
\r\nETA: 2010. After a fine first season in Brooklyn, Clyne should begin next season in St. Lucie where he will be tested against much stiffer competition. If he pitches well there, he may see time at Binghamton sometime during 2008, but it is expected Clyne will spend two more full seasons in the system before making it to the big leagues starting in 2010. However, if his repertoire develops at a quicker rate than anticipated, it is possible that his ETA could be moved up a year.
\r\n
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