Justus Sheffield
24-Year-Old PitcherSP
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Sheffield's second stint in an MLB rotation went far better than his first, as he trimmed his ERA from 5.50 to 3.58. His 4.4% HR/FB rate suggests he was helped by a fair amount of luck, but the rest of his numbers did still depict at least a solid back-end starter or even a mid-rotation arm. His 50.6% groundball rate was strong, though his 8.6 BB% wasn't much better than average and his 20.7 K% was a few ticks below. His standout slider, which he threw more than a third of the time, remained his best pitch despite dropping from 84.3 to 81.9 mph, and he leaned more heavily into the groundball profile by switching from a four-seamer to a two-seamer. It will take something else to make him a true frontline starter (still possible given that he's just 24 years old), but a groundball-heavy arm who isn't a total zero in the strikeout department is a useful option, especially in a pitcher-friendly park. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#289
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $566,300 contract with the Mariners in March of 2020.
No-decision in final start
PSeattle Mariners
September 26, 2020
Sheffield allowed one run on five hits and two walks over five innings during Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader against the Athletics. He struck out one and didn't factor in the decision.
ANALYSIS
The left-hander wasn't at his best as he generated only one swinging strike in 82 pitches and set a season low for strikeouts, but he battled to put together a solid performance in his last start of the season. Sheffield performed well in 2020 with a 3.58 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 48:20 K:BB across 55.1 innings and should enter next season with a secure spot in Seattle's rotation.
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Pitching Stats
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2020
2019
2018
2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
88
Last 10 Games
88
Last 5 Games
92
How many pitches does Justus Sheffield generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does Justus Sheffield generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2018
 
 
-43%
BAA vs LHP
2020
 
 
-46%
BAA vs LHP
2019
 
 
-37%
BAA vs LHP
2018
 
 
-60%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2018vs Left .174 102 22 13 15 2 0 2
Since 2018vs Right .307 299 62 26 82 13 1 6
2020vs Left .154 57 14 4 8 1 0 0
2020vs Right .283 162 33 14 41 3 0 2
2019vs Left .207 37 8 6 6 1 0 2
2019vs Right .328 131 29 12 38 9 1 3
2018vs Left .200 8 0 3 1 0 0 0
2018vs Right .500 6 0 0 3 1 0 1
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2018
 
 
-13%
ERA at Home
2020
 
 
-44%
ERA at Home
2019
 
 
-37%
ERA on Road
2018
 
 
-100%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2018Home 4.38 1.52 51.1 2 2 0 8.4 3.5 1.1
Since 2018Away 5.02 1.49 37.2 2 2 0 8.6 4.5 0.5
2020Home 2.66 1.10 23.2 2 1 0 8.7 1.5 0.4
2020Away 4.73 1.46 26.2 2 2 0 8.1 4.7 0.3
2019Home 6.08 1.84 26.2 0 1 0 8.4 5.1 1.7
2019Away 3.86 1.39 9.1 0 0 0 11.6 2.9 0.0
2018Home 0.00 3.00 1.0 0 0 0 0.0 9.0 0.0
2018Away 16.20 2.40 1.2 0 0 0 0.0 10.8 5.4
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Justus Sheffield compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 120 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
2.40
 
K/9
7.8
 
BB/9
3.3
 
HR/9
0.3
 
Fastball
92.0 mph
 
ERA
3.58
 
WHIP
1.30
 
BABIP
.316
 
GB/FB
2.16
 
Left On Base
70.8%
 
Exit Velocity
84.5 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
2.5%
 
Spin Rate
2096 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
33.1%
 
Swinging Strike
8.3%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
Sheffield joined a big-league rotation for the first time toward the end of his first season with the Mariners but didn't have much success. The young lefty's 22.0 K% and 10.7 BB% didn't suggest that he deserved much better than his 5.50 ERA, though he did at least keep the ball on the ground, posting a 52.3 GB%. The most concerning aspect of his season was that he opened the year at Triple-A, where he logged 88 innings in 2018, but was so bad that he needed to be demoted to Double-A, where he shined before his big-league promotion. Sheffield is still just 23 and has a plus slider, but his lack of efficiency, particularly in a repeat tour of Triple-A, doesn't portend success in his first full season in the majors. At this point, Seattle will break camp with him in the rotation unless he is dreadful in spring training, but his command really needs to improve for him to be a positive fantasy contributor.
Sheffield might be best suited for a high-leverage relief role, but after getting traded to the rebuilding Mariners, he should get a fair audition in the rotation. He headlined that November trade that sent James Paxton to the Yankees. The industry consensus is that Seattle valued Sheffield and the rest of the haul more than most, so it would be a mistake to assume that trade validates him as a high-end pitching prospect. The 5-foot-10, 195-pound southpaw has a couple nasty pitches -- mid-90s fastball with life, plus high-80s slider -- but his changeup, command and pitchability all lag behind, hence the speculation he may be better suited getting outs in the eighth and ninth innings. The Mariners will likely send Sheffield back to Triple-A until they gain an extra year of control in late April and perhaps for several months as he works on smoothing his rough edges. He will be worth a flyer when he debuts, but is not stash-worthy in most formats.
The fact that we all immediately think of the same handful of guys (Tim Lincecum, Johnny Cueto, Sonny Gray, Marcus Stroman) when trying to list recent pitchers under six feet tall who have experienced prolonged success in big-league rotations tells us how rare they really are. Sheffield, a 5-foot-11 lefty, has a chance to join that unique company in the coming years. He has a plus mid-90s fastball with late life, an above-average slider and an average changeup, but his command still needs some work. A strained oblique limited him to 98 innings -- the lowest full-season total of his career. This led to an assignment to the Arizona Fall League, where he logged a 3.10 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 22 strikeouts over 20.1 innings. Many evaluators who saw him in the AFL said that was the best they had ever seen him pitch. He will start the year at Triple-A, and while he won't be rushed to the majors, he could get there on merit sometime this summer.
Sheffield came over to the Bronx Bombers from the Indians along with Clint Frazier as the second piece in the Andrew Miller deal. The southpaw has a live arm and finished the season on a high note. The 20-year-old posted a 1.73 ERA and 27:10 K:BB in 26 innings with High-A Tampa to end the 2016 campaign. Opposing batters hit a putrid .157 against him over that span. In fact, Sheffield has averaged more than one strikeout per inning throughout his brief time in the minors. Sheffield's control could use a bit of work. though: He walked 53 batters in 125.1 innings last year. In addition, he does not have the prototypical size of a future frontline rotation anchor at 5-foot-10, 195 pounds. Still, Sheffield possesses four pitches and has the tools to contribute in the big leagues as early as 2018. He should begin the 2017 season in Double-A Trenton.
After a red-hot finish to the season, Sheffield’s 2015 numbers leave very little to be desired. The 19-year-old southpaw distinguished himself as the top pitching prospect in the Indians’ offense-heavy farm system, but despite the gaudy strikeout totals in the lower levels, Sheffield probably only has the upside of a No. 3 starter in the big leagues. He has a mid-90s fastball, but neither his curveball or changeup project to be elite pitches. That said, the fact that he already has three above-average offerings with solid command separates him from most pitchers below Double-A, so his numbers should remain impressive at High-A in 2016. The elephant in the room is that Sheffield measures in at 5-foot-10, 196 pounds, and will likely always be discounted slightly due to his height until he shows he can succeed against big league hitters. Still, this is a starter’s profile, and one worth monitoring in most dynasty formats.
Based just on pure stuff and control/command, Sheffield, the 31st pick in the 2014 draft, profiles as a No. 3 starter in the big leagues. However, whether fair or unfair, the first thing that should be noted with the 18-year-old lefty is his height, or lack thereof, as Sheffield measures in at 5-foot-10. He appears to be able to make it work, featuring three plus pitches (fastball, curveball, changeup), but his height will be a bugaboo that follows him throughout his rise up the organizational ladder. Teams can always find a place for a bat-misser from the left side, but Sheffield’s worth in dynasty leagues is tied to his ability to stick as a starter. Fortunately, he has a thick frame (196 pounds), so he should be able to log the requisite innings. Sheffield will likely start 2015 in short season ball, meaning he won’t be in the big leagues until approximately 2018.
More Fantasy News
Wins consecutive starts
PSeattle Mariners
September 19, 2020
Sheffield (4-3) allowed a run on six hits and a pair of walks while striking out five in six innings to earn the win Saturday versus the Padres.
ANALYSIS
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Picks up third win
PSeattle Mariners
September 13, 2020
Sheffield (3-3) earned the win over Arizona on Saturday, tossing seven innings and allowing two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out seven.
ANALYSIS
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Solid in no-decision
PSeattle Mariners
September 5, 2020
Sheffield tossed seven innings against Texas on Saturday, allowing two runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out six. He did not factor in the decision.
ANALYSIS
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Pummeled by Angels
PSeattle Mariners
August 30, 2020
Sheffield dropped to 2-3 in Saturday's 16-3 loss to the Angels after serving up six runs on four hits and four walks while striking out six in 4.2 innings.
ANALYSIS
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Effective in second win
PSeattle Mariners
August 23, 2020
Sheffield (2-2) earned the win against Texas on Saturday, pitching six innings and allowing one run on six hits and one walk while striking out five.
ANALYSIS
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