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Draft  | Top Prospects  | 5/22/2011

50 in 50: Andrew Chafin

Allan Simpson     
Photo: Kent State

Andrew Chafin
LHP / Kent State

Bats-Throws: L-L
Height/Weight: 6-2/210
Hometown: Wakeman, Ohio
Previously Drafted: Never drafted
Birthdate: June 17, 1990

Chafin’s emergence as a top starting candidate for the 2011 draft has been somewhat slow to evolve as he spent his freshman year at Kent State as a dominant closer and sophomore year on the shelf, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. He hurt his elbow late in his freshman season after going 4-1, 1.26 with eight saves, striking out 55 in 36 innings. Even with no experience as a starter in college, Chafin was dominant in that role early this spring as Kent State’s Friday starter, with his signature outing being a 1-0, complete-game win over Toledo on the opening weekend of the Mid-American Conference schedule. He allowed four hits and no walks, struck out 15 and threw 88 strikes in his 113-pitch masterpiece. Soon, though, Chafin’s heavy workload caught up with him and he was forced to miss a weekend start with what Kent State coaches called a fatigued arm. Through mid-May, he was 6-1, 2.14 with 49 hits, 19 walks and 91 strikeouts in 71 innings. The tall, athletic Chafin has always flashed starter stuff, with a fastball in the 92-95 mph range. But the development of his secondary pitches into legitimate offerings has enabled him to settle in seamlessly this spring as a starter. His power slider has become a dominant second pitch, and his changeup is now a viable third offering. His unflappable mound presence has also served him well as a starter. Chafin has been the Friday guy in Kent State’s rare all-sophomore rotation, and the trio has been instrumental in the team winning its fourth straight MAC title (regular season or tournament). As a staff, the Golden Flashes boast a 2.62 ERA and have struck out 448 in 470 innings. Though all three southpaws can throw strikes routinely and specialize at getting ahead early in the count, they are very different in their approaches to pitching. Senior lefthander Kyle Hallock (9-4, 1.63, 94 IP/80 SO) and sophomore lefty David Starn (7-2, 2.07, 87 IP/99 SO) have outpitched Chafin from time to time, but neither comes close to possessing Chafin’s professional upside. Where Chafin’s fastball is in the mid-90s, Hallock is typically 87-88 mph, topping at 90, but can throw four pitches for strikes. Starn is even more of a soft tosser, with a fastball at 83-85, and succeeds mostly working with his dominant changeup. If Chafin can overcome his mid-season speed bump and pitch effectively in his final few starts this season, he could slip into the back end of the first round. Otherwise, he should fit safely in the sandwich round.

Projected Draft Position:
Late first round / compensation round.

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