The almost 20 year old (his birthday is May 11 in case you wondered) is considered the Chicago Cubs 29th best prospect. Born in Tennessee, he was drafted by the Cubs in the 2013 draft in the 12th round out of Heritage High School in Maryville, Tennessee. He bats and throws right handed and is 6′ 4″ 170 lbs. Clifton wears #29 for the South Bend Cubs.
During one of Clifton’s recent starts, there seemed to be more than usual the number of “baseball guys” near me behind home plate. One, who was taking notes about Clifton, described him as “tall” with “broad shoulders” but “skinny legs”. His legs don’t look particularly skinny to me but this guy apparently thought they were.
In 2013 in rookie ball for the Arizona Cubs, he pitched only 10 innings in 8 games, giving up 13 hits and 8 runs for a 6.97 ERA. 2014 saw him in short season A ball, pitching for the Boise Hawks. In 13 games there, he had a win-loss record of 4-2 with an ERA of 3.69 in 61 innings.
Trevor started the 2015 season in South Bend and his first start did not go well. He is currently on the upswing though so, while his stats aren’t that great, things are looking up for him and the Cubs. Clifton got his first start of the season in Dayton taking on the Dragons. Unfortunately he gave up 3 runs in the first inning due to four walks. He only retired two batters before being pulled.
Next, Trevor Clifton pitched one inning of relief April 16th in Fort Wayne. He gave up only one hit, no runs, struck out one and (most importantly) walked no one. Clifton’s next start was against the Great Lakes Loons in South Bend.
And He. Was. Awesome.
Pitching five full innings against the Loons, Clifton gave up only one hit (in the 4th) and one walk. The Loons did not score against him and he struck out seven. Unfortunately his stellar performance went unrewarded as the relief pitching let the Loons score four in the 9th inning to win the game.
Trevor Clifton’s next start will likely be next weekend against the Fort Wayne Tin Caps.
SB Cubs series recap: duuuude, I am SO behind. Mea culpa.
After their opening day homestand, the Cubs went on the road. First stop, Dayton where they took the first game from the Dragons but lost the next two.
On April 12, the Cubs won 8-3 thanks to some stellar offense. Trey Martin went 1-5 with a triple, scored once and had 1 RBI. Gleyber Torres was 2-4 with 2 RBI. He also scored once and took one walk. Ryan Vosler went 3-5, scoring twice and Rashad Crawford was 2-2, with 3 runs, 3 RBI and 2 walks. The pitching was good enough with Zach Hedges getting the win. Hedges pitched 5 innings, giving up 5 hits but only 3 runs. He walked one and struck out two. Jasvir Rakkar (who has since been promoted), James Norwood and Tommy Thorple combined for the last four inning, giving up only 2 hits and 2 walks between them.
Things took a turn starting on April 13th however. Trevor Clifton got his first start of the year and it did not go well, giving up 3 runs in the first and only making it through 2/3 of an inning. Jordan Minch and James Farris came in to stop the bleeding. Minch threw 3.1 innings, giving up 3 hits and 1 run while striking out 2. Farris pitched 4 innings, with 5 hits, 2 runs and 4 Ks. Neither Minch or Farris gave up a base on balls which was what doomed Clifton. Offensively the Cubs had 8 hits but only 1 run as they grounded into 3 double plays and were 0 for 2 with runners in scoring position. Chesny Young went 2-4, scoring the lone run and Cael Brockmeyer was 2-4 with a double. Cael had the Cubs lone RBI.
Whereas things went south right away on the 13th, on the 14th the Cubs lost the game in the late innings (full disclosure: you WILL see that sentence again). The Cubs were up 2-1 going into the 8th inning but the Dragons scored 1 in the 8th and 1 in the 9th to get the win. Ryan Williams looked strong in his first start of the year, pitching 6 inning of 1 hit ball. The Dragons scored only 1 run off him, he gave up NO walks and fanned 7. Tommy Thorpe would be the losing pitcher, giving up 3 hits and 2 runs in his 1.1 innings. Trey Martin went 2-4 with a double and a triple while Gleyber Torres was 2-3 with 1 RBI. He also walked once. Cael Brockmeyer was 1-3 with a double, scored once and had 1 RBI.
After Dayton, the Cubs travelled to Fort Wayne to take on the Tin Caps. I’ll have that series summary tomorrow.