Dominic Pipkin bursts onto the scene

Dominic Pipkin is a well-regarded prep right-handed pitcher from California, and he credits his success to his pitching coach DeVallon Harper.

Pipkin started working with Harper when he was 12 years old. Harper, who spent four seasons in minor league baseball, has made a major impact on Pipkin and his development over the last six years.

“He’s kind of like a second dad in a way,” Pipkin said. “Everything I know about pitching and the majority I know about baseball he taught me. He’s been the largest contributing factor to the person I am today and the success I’ve had so far.”

A 6-foot-4, 170-pound righty, Pipkin is one of the top high school prospects in the 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Baseball America ranks the California commit as the 49th-best prep player in the MLB Draft class.

“I’ve always had the dream and always thought everyone has a chance to go pro,” Pipkin said. “But I never really thought of it as a realistic thing, as something that could happen until right now.”

Last summer, Pipkin participated in the Area Code Games and impressed professional scouts with his mid-90s fastball. Pipkin said that was also the time when scouts started contacting him.

“The Area Code Games were amazing,” he said. “All the kids were super friendly. It was good competition, and we got free stuff, which is always a bonus. The environment, the atmosphere and everything about it was good. It was a great experience.”

Pipkin has a slow paced delivery and throws from a high three-quarters arm slot. He likes to attack the lower half of the strike zone, generating a high ground ball rate.

He possesses a five-pitch repertoire, consisting of a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, changeup, curveball and slider. His fastball is his best offering and reached 96 mph at the Area Code games.

Pipkin’s changeup is his top off-speed pitch. With his final season of high school baseball approaching, he’s trying to refine his breaking pitches and make them effective offerings.

“Last year, my curveball wasn’t as sharp,” Pipkin said. “The curveball and slider were kind of getting mixed into one pitch, kind of like a slurve.”

Pipkin’s senior season will be crucial for scouts in order to evaluate him in preparation for the draft. While he understands what’s ahead, Pipkin isn’t worried about the future.

“Personally, I love the attention,” he said. “I just go with the flow in a way. I think my ability to stay calm and collective is my biggest strength.”

Find more 2018 MLB Draft profiles here.

READ: 2017 MLB Draft: Profiles on top prospects

READ:’s MLB Draft prospect history

Dan Zielinski III
Dan Zielinski III
Dan Zielinski III is the creator of the Baseball Prospect Journal and has covered the MLB draft since 2015. His draft work originally appeared on, a sports website he started in December 2011. He also covered the Milwaukee Brewers as a member of the credentialed media for four years. Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

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