2015/16: UR Position(s): Right Handed Pitcher
Level: AA Age: Entering Age 24 season in 2017.
Height: 6’4” Weight: 185 lb.
Present - Future
Fastball 50 55
Slider 55 55
Change 40 50
Mechanics 65 65
Command 55 55
Control 55 55
Overall 40 50
Floor: AAA Depth or long reliever. Ceiling: #4 starting pitcher.
Likely Outcome: A 5th starter or swing man in the majors.
Summary: Kipper is an easy pitcher to like from a scouting perspective. He’s just solid across the board. He doesn’t need any major tweaks to his delivery, he has a good head on his shoulders and is projectable. After serving as a de facto ace for TCU, Kipper was drafted for the third time in four years back in 2014. The Dodgers and Phillies didn’t have any luck singing him, but the Angels fared better after selecting him in the 9th round. Kipper is a tall, lean (though not skinny) pitcher. He has a very clean, fluid delivery without excess effort. Jordan’s fastball is of the hard sinking variety, sitting 90-91. As he fills out, some in the organization believe he could sit 93 regularly. There’s also some question as to whether he’ll continue as a starter or move to relief. But after last season, it appears the Angels best bet is to keep him in the rotation, despite a lack of a third pitch. Kipper throws a decent slider. It comes in around 83, with similar downward motion as his fastball, and he keeps it in the strike zone, which is particularly dangerous. Kipper’s been messing with a change up or curve ball as a third pitch, but neither appear to be something he can use with any consistency at the top level yet. Even if they develop into a “show me” pitch, Kipper could experience more success than he has so far. The big thing for Jordan will be surviving AAA Salt Lake. Kipper is a smart pitcher that pitches to contact, and generates a metric ton of weak grounders and pop ups in foul territory. This works at the lower levels, and especially in AA. where hitters are more confident and will swing at a pitch, even if it results in a two-hopper to shortstop. In the PCL, pitching to contact is a very dangerous game. Those shallow flys turn into medium depth sac flys, and the medium depth flys will go into the gaps or over the fence. The pop ups in foul territory will leave into the stands. It’s pretty much the hardest place to succeed. But because of Kipper’s heavy downward motion on both his fastball and slider, he shouldn’t be as affected by the environment.
What to expect next season: Kipper should be in AAA. Currently, the Angels have a lot of pitching depth on the back end with Jesse Chavez, Alex Meyer, Nate Smith, Manny Banuelos, Troy Scribner, Vicente Campos and Kyle McGowin. This means there’s the off chance that Kipper could find himself repeating AA after so thoroughly succeeding at that level. I still expect to see Kipper in Salt Lake though, and if he does succeed there, we could see him in Anaheim soon.
Estimated Time of Arrival: Late 2018, Kipper’s age 25 season.
Grade as a prospect: C: Projects to be a long reliever or back end starter.
Grades are given from the 20-80 scouting scale. 20-being non-existent ability, 80-being the best I’ve ever seen. MLB average is 50.