Position: Right-handed Pitcher
Acquired: 2012 MLB Draft, 19th Round
Ranking History: N/A
An inexpensive senior sign in the 19th round of the 2012 draft, Clinard did nothing but dominate after signing last summer.
Originally assigned to short-season Connecticut, Clinard saw action in seven games out of the bullpen; posting a 1.38 ERA with just eight hits allowed in 13 innings. As further evidence of his dominance, Clinard allowed only two walks, did not yield a home run and whiffed 19 batters.
The Tigers quickly promoted Clinard to Low-A West Michigan where he sported a 2.96 ERA across 24 1/3 innings (14 appearances). Clinard allowed 27 hits and seven walks while striking out 20 full-season hitters.
Clinard's physicality stands out the second he steps off the bus. A broad-shouldered kid with plenty of muscle on his 6-foot-4 frame, he takes his strength and conditioning training seriously. Clinard is also extremely intellectual and shows tremendous poise on the mound.
An aggressive pitcher, Clinard has little trouble coming after hitters with hard stuff. His fastball is firm and can be run up to the 94 mph range, sitting at 91-93 mph routinely. He pounds the strike zone with the fastball and shows some ability to manipulate some sink on the ball.
His cutter is his best pitch, sitting in the 89-91 mph range with exceptional horizontal movement. The ball runs in on the fists of left-handers and can also eat up right-handers when he attacks inside. Clinard's cutter is a legitimate plus pitch with the potential to become a plus-plus offering.
Clinard will also mix a slider and change-up into the mix, though the change-up lags significantly behind. The slider is a fringe-average pitch that adds a slight vertical component to his arsenal. Clinard's affinity for the harder side of his arsenal leaves his change-up too firm and often ineffective.
Clinard relishes the opportunity to pitch in with his fastball and cutter, rarely missing an opportunity to work hard inside. His fastball and cutter can both break bats and can be a lethal combination.
The absence of a consistent vertical component in Clinard's arsenal can get him in trouble on occasion. He doesn't change eye level of the hitter frequently enough, allowing more contact than the raw quality of his arsenal suggests he should. Improved command within the strike zone may help mitigate this problem, allowing him to elevate the fastball and change the sight line of the hitter.
Clinard is an excellent find late in the draft, showing true big-league potential right out of the gate and impressing professional scouts at both stops during his debut. With improved command and a continued use of his fringy slider, Clinard projects as a solid setup reliever.
Performance Level Team W-L ERA G GS SV SO BB IP BAA SS-A
Clinard has a strong, durable frame and no known history of significant injury.
Clinard has the makeup and raw stuff to move quickly through the minor leagues. His fastball and cutter are both Major League quality pitches that play up because of his aggression and willingness to attack hitters on the inner third. He must improve his command and continue to try and develop his slider and change-up to maximize his potential. If he does that, he could fly through the system and reach the big leagues as a seventh or eighth inning arm.
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