2018 Pinstripe Preview: Justus Sheffield
In this addition of the Bronx Bomber Ball’s 2018 Pinstripe Preview, we will focus on lefty sensation Justus Sheffield. Sheffield was acquired by the Yankees in 2016 in a package with the Cleveland Indians for Andrew Miller. Recently rated as the Yankees number four prospect and the number seven left-handed pitching prospect, there is a lot of hype build around the young man.
Photo Credit: Mark J Rebilas -USA TODAY Sports
Sheffield is coming off of a solid year where he went 7-6 with a 3.18 ERA in 17 starts for the Trenton Thunder, the Yankees Double-A affiliate. He only gave up 94 hits over 93 1/3 innings and struck out 82, while walking only 33. Much of this stat line was abbreviated due to his time on the disabled list with an oblique injury, but even while his year may have been shortened, the Yankees (and MLB scouts for that matter) saw the talent that was there.
He was able to get back into action for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Fall League, and in 22 1/3 innings, he posted a 2-2 record with a 3.10 ERA, along with 22 strikeouts, three walks and only 14 hits.
The 21-year-old looks to build off his impressive 2017 with likely a start in either Double-A with a quick call up to Triple-A or perhaps an early promotion and begin the year in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with the Yankees Triple-A affiliate.
While his name has become a more popular one when talking about the future Yankees, he does still have some work to do before he makes an appearance in the Bronx. He will need to work on his changeup to go alongside his fastball and wipe out slider, as well as perhaps making an adjustment to his more violent delivery (for added durability). He will need to take a page out of Luis Severino’s book and minimize the arm whip after delivery to take some stress off the forearm and avoid potential dangers down the road, while still keeping his deception.
With all that being said, Sheffield’s future is just about as bright as any in the Yankees farm system, and with the plethora of riches in that farm system, Sheffield can take his time to hone his craft.
Article by: AJ Welch