The 22-year-old was once considered a top-10 prospect for the Chicago Cubs, now he finds himself exposed in the Rule 5 draft.
The Cubs selected him in the 13th Round of the 2013 draft, and Minor League Ball had him on their 2017 Prospect Watch List. After posting a 2.72 ERA in High Single-A Ball in 2016, Clifton found himself struggling in AA Ball. In 2017, he posted a 5.21 ERA while striking out 86 and walking 45 with the Tennessee Smokies.
As of December 8th he was considered to be a Top 10 Prospect for the Cubs, but the Cubs exposing him in the Rule 5 draft and the recent acquisition of Drew Smyly by the Cubs doesn’t bode well for him in the Cubs Organization.
The Tigers could take a flyer on him and see how he does in the bullpen. However, there have been rumblings of interest in Michael Fulmer. So, a draft of Clifton could somehow result in him being in the big leagues by 2019.