3. Jordan Sheffield, RHP Los Angeles Dodgers
Who doesn’t love a family reunion? Well, probably a lot of us. But any family reunion on the baseball field is something worth dreaming about. And next month, the Mariners have a chance to get just that.
Jordan Sheffield is the older brother to Mariners lefty Justus Sheffield and was left unprotected by the Dodgers yesterday. But this is about more than a cool opportunity to have brothers playing side by side. Jordan has some electrifying stuff that deserves real consideration.
Sheffield has largely watched his trek to the big leagues be derailed by injuries, but when he is healthy, the stuff could be dominant at the MLB level. Sheffield’s fastball sits in the mid-90s and tops out at 99 MPH with riding action. Think Edwin Diaz level stuff here.
Sheffield backs up the insane fastball with a curveball that flashes plus at times and has become a more consistent weapon in the past year. Sheffield also has an above-average changeup that is thrown with good arm action and is a bonafide weapon against lefties.
The biggest strike against Sheffield, aside from staying healthy, is his command. Most scouts place a firm 40-grade on his command, which is well below-average. A look at his 2019 numbers confirms this, as Sheffield handed out 43 walks in 55 innings.
But with those walks came 74 strikeouts and .168 opponents batting average. The Mariners have helped hard-throwing relievers like Connor Sadzeck and Austin Adams find the strike zone more consistently and could hope to do it here. And if they are successful, Sheffield has a closers arsenal.
The beauty of selecting Sheffield this season is that the Mariners can basically offer him a soft landing at the level, give him a full season to show his stuff, and do so without fear of being demoted if things don’t work out.
One thing that is become increasingly hard to dismiss is the Mariners’ ability to help pitchers reach their ceilings, particularly in the bullpen. Seattle did it with success last season and could very well do it again with Jordan Sheffield.