June 10, 2013
RHP / 18 years old / 6′ 1″ 195 lbs.
High School: Woodford County (Westlake Village, CA)
College: Committed to Kentucky
Baseball America Rank: 95
Perfect Game/Baseball Prospectus Rank: 99
ESPN Rank: 73
- 2013 Rawlings 1st Team All-American
- 2011 & 2012 Perfect Game Underclass 1st Team All-American
- Draws physical comparisons to Jeremy Guthrie
- Went 9-1 with a 0.61 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 57 innings as a high school senior
- Became the highest drafted high schooler in Kentucky since 2008
As a high school power pitcher with a quick fastball, a power slider and a feel for a changeup, it’s not surprising at all why the Blue Jays selected 18-year-old Clinton Hollon 47th overall with their second round pick in the draft. After all, outside of being a few inches taller, there’s not much else the Kentucky native could do to be a more prototypical pitching prospect for the Blue Jays organization.
Apparently Texas was one of the Blue Jays’ main competitors in the draft for Hollon’s services, as a Rangers area scout was so sure that his team was going to be the one to draft the pitcher that he showed up at the Hollon household to watch on TV, according to Lex18. But what the scout heard instead as he walked through the front door was the Blue Jays announcing their selection of Hollon with their pick.
With an athletic body and impressive arm strength, Hollon can launch fastballs in the mid-90s along with a mid-80s slider, a changeup and a curveball, according to ESPN. Hollon’s velocity and pitch arsenal gave him the potential to be a first round pick, but an unfortunate bout of elbow tendinitis put him on the shelf for several weeks. It appears as though he’s gotten back to where he was before being sidelined with the injury, but that and multiple outlets reporting concerns with his delivery add a level of risk to the selection for the Jays. In trademark fashion, though, Hollon represents another high risk, high reward type of pitcher for the Jays, one that could possibly provide first round talent at a second round price, if he can stay healthy.
Perfect Game touched on Hollon’s mechanics: “Fast paced side step delivery, pretty busy with a big slide across the rubber, will get cross body at times, not consistent with his front side and will spin off, clean and fast arm action, deep arm circle, compact 3/4′s arm slot.”
Considered one of the top prep arms before his injury, Baseball America noted that Hollon “throws with some effort that costs him command and consistency.” They also added that questions arose of Hollon’s maturity, but that even though he’s committed to the University of Kentucky, he’s considered signable. If the picture of him in Blue Jays gear in the Lex18 article is any indication, it appears he could be looking to sign with Toronto and get his pro career underway sooner rather than later.