Baseball Prospect Journal

Carter Raffield looks to build on junior season

Carter Raffield began his high school season on Feb. 15, but didn’t make his pitching debut for Bleckley County High in Cochran, Ga. until April 3.

Battling tendonitis, which crept up in mid-January, Raffield made sure to take his time and rest his pitching arm to avoid anything serious. The right-hander is back on the mound, pitching in a relief role for his high school team to build his arm back up, before extending his workload.

As long as Raffield is healthy, scouts project him as an early-round selection in June’s MLB Draft. Baseball America ranked the righty as the 105th-best prospect in their preseason draft rankings.

“There used to be a lot more pressure than there is now,” he said. “I learned how to deal with it. I go out there and pitch me game. I go out there and do what I know how to do. Now, there’s no pressure on me. But, there’s always some there because I want to do the best I can possible do.”

Raffield decommitted from the University of Georgia on June 1, 2017. The firing of pitching coach Fred Corral and the lack of success in recent years played into his decision, he said.

Nearly a month later, Raffield committed to Clemson University on July 6, 2017, as the experienced coaching staff, facilities and campus atmosphere were factors in his decision.

Raffield may never step foot on Clemson’s campus as a student-athlete this fall however, as he’ll have to decide between turning pro or going to school when the draft rolls around in less than two months.

“It’s always been my dream since I was a little kid to play professional baseball and in the major leagues one day,” he said. “But if I have to go to college first to do that, I’m perfectly fine with that.

“Being one of the draft prospects gives me a drive and makes me push myself to be the best I can be and the best in the class I’m going against.”

A 6-foot-4, 215-pound righty, Raffield throws a fastball (four-seam and two-seam), 12-6 curveball, and a circle changeup.

His two fastballs sit in the low-90s, and he’s able to locate them well. His two-seamer displays some run and he prefers to throw it in two-strike counts to right-handed batters on the inside part of the plate.

Raffield uses his 12-6 curveball as an out pitch, while his changeup keeps hitters off balanced.

“To me, my changeup is one of my best pitches,” he said. “It’s been really working for me, which I’m really happy and blessed to say that.”

Raffield threw a perfect game and a no-hitter as a junior in 2017. While he hopes to build off his junior year success, his main goal is to improve his command this spring.

“I want to prove anything I possibly can,” Raffield said. “But I want to show I can locate where I want to. I’m starting to do that. But I want to master that and do whenever I possibly want to do it. I think location is one of the biggest keys to pitching and getting batters out.”

Find more 2018 MLB Draft profiles here.

READ: 2017 MLB Draft: Profiles on top prospects

READ: The3rdManIn.com’s MLB Draft prospect history

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