Prospect Spotlight: Justus Sheffield is a hidden gem in the Andrew Miller trade

Trading Andrew Miller wasn't an easy decision. He may be the best reliever in all baseball and had a contract that's pocket change compared to what relievers are getting this offseason. As a result, the package the Yankees got in return needed to be a sizable one. And to their credit, the Yankees got just that. A few weeks ago I wrote about Clint Frazier, who highlighted the return for Miller. This week I'm going to cover Justus Sheffield, who doesn't seem to get the attention he deserves.
Photo Credit: Mark LoMoglio
At 5'10" and 196 pounds, Sheffield may seem a bit undersized, especially for the Yankees who have placed an emphasis on acquiring tall, hard throwing pitchers in recent years.

He makes the most of what he has, however, as his fastball has averaged 94 MPH during his time in professional baseball. It's even touched 99 MPH.

His fastball is seen as a plus pitch as a result when coupled with the fact it has good, sinking movement.

Sheffield also throws a curveball and changeup that project to be plus pitches at the major league level.

Sheffield dominated the minors this year, pitching to a 3.09 ERA in 125.1 IP, striking out 129 and only giving up six long balls. A lefty that can get batters to whiff and keep the ball in the yard is something the Yankees desperately need.

The biggest obstacle in the way of major league success is his control, that's rated a 45 scouting grade, which is below average.

This isn't all that concerning though, as this is a common weakness of young pitchers as they make their way through the minors. Scouts have said that his delivery is repeatable and that with some refinement, he can be a mid rotation starter in the majors, so give the control some time to develop.

At just 20-years-old, Sheffield comes in as the Yankees no. six prospect and the 78th prospect overall (MLB.com) and is a very solid piece of return for Andrew Miller. Even if he truly is more of a two or three starter as opposed to an ace, the Yankee need pitching help and a young lefty starter such as Sheffield would be just what the doctor ordered.

By: Nick Scott

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