Justus Sheffield

Justus Sheffield

27-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2024 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Justus Sheffield in 2024. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
RANKS
$Signed a one-year, minor-league contract with Atlanta in May of 2023.
Gets minors deal from Atlanta
PAtlanta Braves  
May 12, 2023
Sheffield signed a minor-league contract with Atlanta on May 4.
ANALYSIS
Sheffield has been assigned to the organization's Florida Complex League team and its season hasn't started yet, so Atlanta might be having him work on his mechanics before elevating him to a full-season affiliate. The left-hander, a first-round pick back in 2014, was released by the Mariners last month after allowing 13 earned runs across his first 8.1 innings with Triple-A Tacoma this year.
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Pitching Stats
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2021
2020
2019
2018
2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2021
 
 
-24%
BAA vs LHP
2023
No Stats
2022
 
 
-41%
BAA vs LHP
2021
 
 
-20%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2021vs Left .247 109 21 14 23 5 0 3
Since 2021vs Right .323 327 49 35 91 19 0 12
2023vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2023vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2022vs Left .143 16 4 2 2 0 0 1
2022vs Right .241 35 3 4 7 0 0 0
2021vs Left .266 93 17 12 21 5 0 2
2021vs Right .332 292 46 31 84 19 0 12
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2021
 
 
-2%
ERA on Road
2023
No Stats
2022
 
 
-100%
ERA on Road
2021
 
 
-1%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2021Home 6.52 1.69 49.2 6 4 0 6.9 4.9 1.4
Since 2021Away 6.38 1.87 42.1 2 4 0 6.8 4.7 1.5
2023Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2023Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2022Home 5.19 1.62 8.2 1 0 0 6.2 5.2 1.0
2022Away 0.00 0.33 3.0 0 0 0 3.0 3.0 0.0
2021Home 6.80 1.71 41.0 5 4 0 7.0 4.8 1.5
2021Away 6.86 1.98 39.1 2 4 0 7.1 4.8 1.6
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Prospect Rankings History
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Justus Sheffield See More
MLB: Postseason Cheat Sheet and Strategy
October 6, 2022
Todd Zola tackles the MLB Postseason Cheat Sheet for RotoWire and discusses his approach to postseason leagues this year.
Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Streaming Upstream
June 11, 2022
Todd Zola's weekly pitcher rankings don't feature a whole lot of top quality two-start pitchers this week.
The Z Files: Sometimes, Crime Does Pay
May 20, 2022
Todd Zola examines the league-wide stolen-base environment and identifies some speedy players who could be valuable as streaming options, including Andres Gimenez.
MLB Betting: Five Futures Markets to Target
April 5, 2022
Juan Carlos Blanco digs into the futures markets for MVP, home runs leader, hits leader and more. Can Bryce Harper become baseball's first repeat MVP since Miguel Cabrera in 2012-2013?
Spring Training Job Battles: American League
March 29, 2022
Erik Halterman reviews spring training job battles in the American League, including in Seattle where top prospect Julio Rodriguez is pushing for a roster spot.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
The 25-year-old lefty broke camp last season as a member of the rotation, but after posting a 6.48 ERA in 73.2 innings over his 15 starts, the Mariners opted to use him out of the bullpen when he returned to the roster in September following a seven-week stint on the injured list with a forearm strain. Sheffield didn't fare any better in a limited sample of relief appearances, so Seattle will continue to develop him a starter with the hope that a full offseason of recovery will translate to better results in 2022. Even when he was a more serviceable starter for the big club in 2020, Sheffield relied heavily on weak contact to get outs rather than making bats miss, so his fantasy upside may not be especially high even if things break right for him.
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.
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
Released by Seattle
PFree Agent  
April 27, 2023
Sheffield was released by the Mariners on Thursday, Mike Curto of the Tacoma Rainiers' broadcast team reports.
ANALYSIS
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Sent outright to Triple-A
PSeattle Mariners  
January 26, 2023
Sheffield cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma by the Mariners on Thursday.
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Designated for assignment
PSeattle Mariners  
January 19, 2023
Sheffield was designated for assignment by the Mariners on Thursday.
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Victorious in first start
PSeattle Mariners  
October 4, 2022
Sheffield (1-0) earned the win in Game 2 of Tuesday's doubleheader win against Detroit, allowing five runs on seven hits and four walks with four strikeouts in five innings.
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Starting Game 2 on Tuesday
PSeattle Mariners  
October 4, 2022
Sheffield will start Game 2 of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Tigers, Corey Brock of The Athletic reports.
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