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2018 MLB Draft Profile: Shane McClanahan

McClanahan has received comps to Chris Sale, so naturally some experts see the Sox as an option at four

Slip Slidin’: Shane McClanahan has fallen down draft boards lately, but is still in play for the Sox.
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Who is Shane McClanahan?

Like Chris Sale, McClanahan also attends a second-tier baseball college in Florida. He is a redshirt sophomore at South Florida, because Tommy John surgery sat him down his freshman year. In his sophomore season, McClanahan had an ERA of 3.20, with 36 walks and a staggering 104 strikeouts in only 76 innings. However, he has fallen in mock drafts and rankings because of his command this year: In 71 13 innings, he has an ERA of 3.41, with 44 walks and 117 strikeouts. In 2018, McClanahan has had only one outing where has has not walked a batter, but to go along with that, in every outing he has had a K/9 of nine or better. His game-log numbers include six games of double-digit punch outs, but in contrast he has walked five batters in a game five different times.

How does McClanahan rank?

Jim Callis Mock: 21 to the Brewers, but he admits it’s an extreme drop

Jonathan Mayo Mock: 12 to the Blue Jays

FanGraphs Mock: 9 to the Athletics

Perfect Game Mock: 4 to the White Sox

What is McClanahan’s game?

He has a 70 grade fastball that can reach 100 mph along with a plus 60 grade changeup and as a lefty, that could make him a dominant starter. He does have a slider, but that grades out at a 50, so there must not be a lot of bite to the pitch. There are concerns about his delivery — like there was about Sale. However, he has had Tommy John surgery, so there is an injury history with McClanahan. The big downside is his control, and he’s done nothing to alleviate that concern this year, with 44 walks in 71 13 innings.

What does McClanahan look like?

Why would the White Sox draft him?

If Mize, Bart, and Singer go in front of the Sox, it is possible they go for the high-risk, high-reward player in McClanahan. This is my own speculation, but he should garner an under-slot payday because of his control and previous Tommy John surgery — factors that would surely appeal to the White Sox. However, that is not a glowing endorsement. What is a glowing endorsement is that he is a lefty starting pitcher who can hit 100 mph. The Sox were able to keep Sale healthy with his mechanics, and have helped Alec Hansen with his control issues, so there would be nothing in McClanahan that the organization hasn’t seen and fixed before.

Why wouldn’t the White Sox draft him?

The odds of Singer being selected before the Sox are low, and the scouting department seems to be enamored with Nick Madrigal. Other than clear frontrunners, some people believe McClanahan will end up in the bullpen because of his delivery. His control is not up to par with the other top pitchers. The White Sox will probably play it safer at No. 4, after Jake Burger’s Achilles injury.