South Florida ace Shane McClanahan (Aaron Fitt)

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Golden Spikes Spotlight: Shane McClanahan

Golden Spikes Spotlight

TAMPA — The list of major league lefthanders who threw a pitch 100 mph in 2017 is short. Just six big league southpaws managed it, and only four of them threw more than one 100 mph pitch.

So to say Shane McClanahan is valued as a rare commodity by MLB clubs is an understatement. McClanahan, a redshirt sophomore lefthander for South Florida, is one of the hardest-throwing southpaws in college baseball history. Multiple scouts confirmed that he hit 100 mph multiple times in a recent preseason scrimmage, and in his season debut Friday against North Carolina he touched 99 at least twice.

Big velocity is sexy, but McClanahan is trying to ensure that his story doesn’t start and end with the radar gun readings. He’s working hard to make himself a more complete pitcher, a process that began after he recovered from Tommy John surgery, which caused him to miss all of 2016. He had a very encouraging redshirt freshman season in the USF rotation last year, going 4-2, 3.20 with 104 strikeouts and 36 walks in 76 innings, but one of his primary objectives in 2018 is to reduce that 4.26 walks per nine rate.

In that respect, his season debut left something to be desired — he issued five walks and hit a batter in six innings of work. But he also allowed just three hits, and whenever UNC got runners on base, McClanahan knuckled down and escaped unscathed. Three times, the Tar Heels got the leadoff man aboard, twice via walk, but McClanahan kept them from capitalizing on any of those scoring chances, and he exited after six scoreless innings and 11 strikeouts.


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