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Prospect Profile: Justus Sheffield

As I have done in the past, I figured it would be a good use of the offseason to examine some of the Yankees top prospects. The youth movement has made the Yankees last couple seasons quite exciting, and there are still some exciting prospects in the Yankees’ system. So, we might as well start at the top and look at Justus Sheffield, a young, hard-throwing southpaw who saw his first taste of Major League ball in September.

Justus Sheffield: DOB: May 13, 1996 Hometown: Tullahoma, TN Position: LHP B/T: L/L Height: 6’0” Weight: 200

Sheffield, a native of Tennessee, passed on his scholarship to Vanderbilt when he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the first round (31st overall pick) of the 2014 draft. He signed quickly and started his professional career. He came to the Yankees in 2016 via the Andrew Miller trade, along with Clint Frazier.

After missing most of the last two months of the 2017 season with a strained oblique, Sheffield put together a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League. He came back in 2018 and put forth his best season yet, with a 2.48 ERA in 116 innings in Trenton and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He only allowed four hours and fifty walks, while racking up 123 strikeouts and a 1.138 WHIP.

A starter for the majority of his career, the Yankees started working him out of the bullpen in August. Sheffield’s performance earned him a call to the Bronx. He only got a small taste of the majors and it wasn’t particularly pretty. He gave up four hits and three runs, while he still looks for his first big league K.

The young southpaw has some great stuff and he has made some nice improvements over the last few years. His main pitch is his fastball, which sits in the mid-90s and has some good movement. Given his smaller stature, Sheffield’s delivery has some good downward motion to it. He also has a strong slider that sits in the mid-80s. His changeup has gotten stronger and while it is his weakest offering, he can get some strikeouts with it.

It will be interesting to see where he ends up in 2019, but the future is looking good for the Yankees’ top prospect. His penchant for strikeouts and his athleticism bode well, and so far he has been able to stay fairly healthy. If all holds, he could see some significant time in the Bronx soon.

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