Even-keeled Clarkin cruises in Class A debut

Yankees' No. 8 prospect pitches five scoreless innings for RiverDogs

Ian Clarkin was 31-7 with a 1.27 ERA and 402 strikeouts in his California high school career. (Mark LoMoglio/Tampa Yankees)

By Josh Jackson / MiLB.com | May 3, 2014 11:45 PM ET

If Ian Clarkin was nervous about making his full-season debut on Saturday, nobody at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park could tell. Especially opposing hitters.

"His composure is outstanding, for a 19-year-old kid to come up to this level for the first time and throw strikes and not be nervous," Charleston pitching coach Carlos Chantres said.

The Yankees' No. 8 prospect allowed four hits over five scoreless innings as the RiverDogs held on for a 6-5 win over Delmarva.

Clarkin struck out five without issuing a walk, faced two batters over the minimum and threw 42 of 61 pitches for strikes.

"Basically, he threw all three pitches for strikes," Chantres said of Clarkin, who thows a low-90s fastball, a 12-to-6 curveball and a changeup. "He attacked the zone and was able to put some guys away."

Clarkin, the 33rd overall pick in the 2013 Draft, gave up six runs over five innings in three starts in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League last summer. He spent April in extended spring training.

"They wanted to give him some innings under his belt and start him out in the warm weather, since this is really his first season in pro ball," Chantres explained.

Clarkin pitched a perfect opening frame but gave up a two-out single to Austin Wynns in the second. Hector Veloz followed with a double to right field.

"His demeanor on the mound, well, he didn't look worried," said Chantres, who wasn't tempted to pay a visit to the mound before Clarkin struck out Alex Murphy to end the inning.

"I want them to try to figure it out sometimes," Chantres said. "If he got hit again, maybe I'd go settle him down, but he made pitches when he needed to, especially with a big-time curve, and kept throwing strikes."

Clarkin worked around a leadoff single in the third, getting a strikeout and a double play. The Shorebirds' Trey Mancini hit a one-out single in the fourth, but Clarkin picked him off.

"The move he put on Mancini was really good. There's potential in that move," Chantres said. "He did it with a quick-step pick. They're going on first step, and he picked up his foot and saw him running and fired over there."

Chantres likes what he's seen out of Clarkin -- including the time they worked together in Spring Training -- and, at least for the time being, doesn't intend to encourage any big adjustments.

"Obviously, I'm going to watch him for a couple starts and I'll watch some tape [Sunday]," he said. "We'll see where we go from there."

Stefan Lopez retired all four batters he faced, striking out two, for his first save of the season.

Abiatal Avelino, the Yankees' 18th-ranked prospect, was 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored for the RiverDogs. No. 19 prospect Miguel Andujar hit his first South Atlantic League homer, a two-run shot in the fourth.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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