Shipley, 24, has been a member of the Arizona organization since it selected him 15th overall in the 2013 amateur draft. Baseball America ranked the right-hander as the 26th-best prospect in baseball after the 2014 campaign, but he fell to 77th following last season. BA noted then (subscription required and recommended) that Shipley struggled with mechanics and consistency issues with his breaking ball in the first half of 2015 with Double-A Mobile. But Shipley still produced quality results last season, especially in the second half, and BA lauded his ability to maintain his arm speed and hit 93 to 96 mph on the radar gun with his fastball. Shipley also possesses a plus, hard-to-identify curveball that sits around 84 mph and a solid changeup that ranges from 83 to 85 mph. Additionally, his athleticism and background as a shortstop – where he played early on at the University of Nevada before turning his focus to pitching – make him a formidable fielder. With all of that considered, at the end of last season, BA regarded Shipley as a potential No. 3 starter in the majors. Given that he has since risen in the outlet’s rankings, the same likely holds true now. MLB.com is also bullish on Shipley, placing him 58th in its prospect rankings and offering a scouting report similar to BA’s.
In the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League this season, Shipley has recorded a 3.70 ERA, 5.81 K/9 and 1.66 BB/9 over 119 1/3 innings. He’ll hope to match or better those numbers with last-place Arizona, whose rotation has been among the majors’ worst this year. Two of their starters, ace Zack Greinke and Rubby De La Rosa, have been on the disabled list for extended periods of time. Meanwhile, high-profile offseason pickup Shelby Miller is in Reno after performing horribly during the first few months of the season and might not last much longer with the organization.
If Shipley takes advantage of his opportunity and stays in the majors for the rest of the year, he’ll fall short of Super Two status. The maximum 2016 service time Shipley can accrue at this point is 70 days. He’ll be eligible for arbitration after the 2019 campaign and under team control through 2022 if he remains in Arizona for the remainder of the season.