Justus Sheffield
22-Year-Old PitcherRP
Seattle Mariners AAA
2019 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year contract with the Mariners in March of 2019.
Will pitch Friday for Mariners
PSeattle Mariners  AAA
April 23, 2019
Sheffield will be called up from Triple-A Tacoma to serve as the primary pitcher behind Yusei Kikuchi in Friday's game against the Rangers, Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports.
ANALYSIS
Kikuchi will be limited to one or two innings Friday as part of his maintenance program and Sheffield will be recalled to pitch after him. The 22-year-old began the season working as a starter at Tacoma, but covered three innings as a reliever Monday in preparation for his callup. Sheffield has a 3.93 ERA, 1.49 WHIP and 11:14 K:BB across 18.1 innings this season
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-60%
BAA vs LHP
2019
No Stats
2018
 
 
-60%
BAA vs LHP
2017
No Stats
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .200 8 0 3 1 0 0 0
Since 2017vs Right .500 6 0 0 3 1 0 1
2019vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Left .200 8 0 3 1 0 0 0
2018vs Right .500 6 0 0 3 1 0 1
2017vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-100%
ERA at Home
2019
No Stats
2018
 
 
-100%
ERA at Home
2017
No Stats
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2017Home 0.00 3.00 1.0 0 0 0 0.0 9.0 0.0
Since 2017Away 16.20 2.40 1.2 0 0 0 0.0 10.8 5.4
2019Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 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
2017Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Justus Sheffield
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49 days ago
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
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
Could work long-man role
PSeattle Mariners  AAA
April 22, 2019
Sheffield was utilized as a multi-inning reliever for Triple-A Tacoma behind opener Mark Tenuta on Monday, a possible precursor to Sheffield filling the same role behind Yusei Kikuchi at the big-league level, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Potential candidate for callup
PSeattle Mariners  AAA
April 13, 2019
Sheffield, who's 0-1 with a 5.19 ERA through two starts at Triple-A Tacoma, is a candidate to be called up if Wade LeBlanc (oblique) is forced to miss at least one start, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Sent to minors
PSeattle Mariners  AAA
March 11, 2019
Sheffield was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on Monday, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle reports.
ANALYSIS
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Solid in intrasquad game
PSeattle Mariners  AAA
March 8, 2019
Sheffield fired 3.2 scoreless innings in an afternoon intrasquad game Thursday during which he faced Dee Gordon, Mitch Haniger (back), Edwin Encarnacion and Ichiro Suzuki, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Cleared to pitch Sunday
PSeattle Mariners  AAA
February 23, 2019
Sheffield (finger) is slated to follow starter Wade LeBlanc in the Mariners' pitching schedule during Sunday's Cactus League game versus the Padres, Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports.
ANALYSIS
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