Name Jordan Sheffield
Selection: Competitive Balance Round A, pick 36
Top 200 Ranking: 28
What he’s good at right now
Sheffield has a live arm with high strikeout numbers in the SEC. Sheffield’s fastball will reach the upper 90’s with sink, and his hard curveball is a true swing and miss pitch. Sheffield is athletic and employs an atypical but repeatable delivery.
What he can be good at in the future
As a six footer, Sheffield isn’t overly projectable, so improvement likely comes from more consistency and improved stamina.
What does he need to work on
Sheffield’s command has improved this year, but he will need to be more pitch efficient to continue starting at the next level. Sheffield will also rush his delivery and might need to adjust his tempo to work every fifth day.
Arm speed, it’s what drives the power on his fastball and curve. At worst, his arm will allow him to be a late inning reliever.
Size, stamina, durability… they all run hand in hand. Sheffield wore down during the stretch run, and he could not escape trouble last weekend in the Nashville regional the way he could early in the season. If his pitch efficiency doesn’t improve, he will be a reliever.
Sheffield will likely pitch sparingly for the remainder of the year after exceeding one hundred innings this spring. As a starter, he might pass both A levels in 2017, reaching Double A by 2018. As a reliever, he could be in the majors next season.
Realistic best case scenario
Sheffield harnesses his stuff enough to reach his number three ceiling, but will probably be more of a six inning/185 inning guy than a workhorse starter. He’ll get strikeouts in bunches but might battle walks as well.
Sheffield was in the discussion for the Dodgers at pick twenty in several mocks leading up to today, so taking him at pick thirty six is solid value here. I had him as a sixty grade prospect before he stumbled down the stretch, eventually dropping him to the fifty-five tier. It’s worth trying letting him start, though today my feeling is he ends up at the back of the bullpen. Sheffield could eventually close, or find a role in the middle of the rotation, but few college pitchers have more arm talent than Sheffield.