Player: Corbin Clouse
Date of Scouting Report: August 20, 2017
Age: 22 in 2017
How Acquired: 27th Rd, 2016
Years Before Free Agency: 6
Years Before Arbitration (If applicable): 3
Selected from the small Davenport University in 2017 as a pitcher who only focused on the act of pitching as a senior in high school. Improved each season at DU before the selection. Was filthy over four games with Danville with 16 K’s in 6.2 ING (22 batters faced) before a promotion to Rome. Retained big K numbers there, though control becomes more an issue. Opened 2017 by struggling with Florida, but strung together 20 consecutive appearances where he allowed no earned runs before a promotion to Mississippi in mid-2017.
Offensive Observations and Grades:
Was a former outfielder, but a back injury suffered in college made him uncomfortable in the batter’s box. No opportunity to grade him at this point.
Pitching Observations and Grades:
At 6’0″ and 230 pounds, Clouse is a sturdy presence on the mound. A typical reliever in that you only see him coming out of the stretch. Throws from a low 3/4’s slot. High leg kick to the plate often sees Clouse fall off notably to the third base side of the mound as he comes through. So much movement in his delivery can be difficult at times to repeat for Clouse, who has been known to rush through the delivery or simply not finish his follow-through, which can cause his pitches to flatten and push up into the zone. He’s shown a willingness to pitch inside and not nibble as he tries to put away hitters.
Threw up to five pitches in college, but utilizes both a sinker and slider since going professional. Lacks prototypical velocity for modern relievers, but makes up for a fastball that tops out around 91-92 mph with great movement when his delivery is on point. Utilizes the pitch effectively against both right-handed and left-handed hitters. The pitch has been known to tail off to both sides, making it even less predictable. Typically reaches the batter on a downward plane as the hitter begins his swing with the ball above his knees, but adjusts to a ball following to his knees or below. When he consistently keeps the ball down, it’s very difficult to elevate especially with any force.
Clouse’s slider is his best weapon. Running in the low-to-mid 80’s, it quickly breaks away to left-handers and into righties. Not only does it have typical glove-side fade of a slider, but drops almost like a curve with plenty of depth. It’s a true strikeout pitch and is his ticket to the majors should he command it consistently.
Grades from a 20-80 Scale…Velocity (50), Movement (60), Control (55)
Potential Grades…Velocity (50), Movement (65), Control (60)
Individual Pitch Grades…Sinker (50), Slider (60)
Potential Individual Pitch Grades…Sinker (60), Slider (70)
Other Grades…Holding Runners (60), Speed to the Plate (55)
Defensive Observations and Grades:
Because Clouse falls off to the third-base side on much on his delivery, he’s vulnerable to bunts and other hits the other way. He’s agile and a better athlete than one might think at first glance, but in order to get some of the movement that he does get, he sacrifices some other parts of his game. No grade at this time, but hard to see him as more than an average fielder.
If he continues to get whiffs on his slider as he progresses up the ladder, Clouse has the potential to be a full-inning, high-leverage reliever in the major leagues. May need to develop a third pitch to keep righties a little more off-balanced – possibly a changeup, which he rarely used in college. The more conservative future role for Clouse is a left-hand specialist and while he has struggled more against them than righties this season, much of that is due to a BABIP of a shade over .400 against left-handed hitters. Regardless, Clouse has a major league arm if he stays healthy and his progression does not stagnate.
Credit: Adam Hayes
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