Justus Sheffield
23-Year-Old PitcherRP
Seattle Mariners AA
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
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$Signed a one-year contract with the Mariners in March of 2019.
Demoted to Double-A
PSeattle Mariners  AA
June 14, 2019
Sheffield was sent to Double-A Arkansas on Friday, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle reports.
ANALYSIS
Sheffield has struggled at Triple-A so far this season, so the Mariners have elected to give him some time at a lower level to regain his confidence. He's posted a 6.87 ERA with a 48:41 K:BB over 55 innings this season for the Rainiers.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-33%
BAA vs LHP
2019
 
 
-33%
BAA vs RHP
2018
 
 
-60%
BAA vs LHP
2017
No Stats
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .222 13 1 4 2 0 0 1
Since 2017vs Right .333 15 2 3 4 1 0 1
2019vs Left .250 5 1 1 1 0 0 1
2019vs Right .167 9 2 3 1 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
 
 
-72%
ERA at Home
2019
 
 
-100%
ERA on Road
2018
 
 
-100%
ERA at Home
2017
No Stats
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2017Home 4.50 2.25 4.0 0 0 0 6.8 11.3 2.3
Since 2017Away 16.20 2.40 1.2 0 0 0 0.0 10.8 5.4
2019Home 6.00 2.00 3.0 0 0 0 9.0 12.0 3.0
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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Stat Review
How does Justus Sheffield compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 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 this season's data (min 20 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
0.75
 
K/9
9.0
 
BB/9
12.0
 
HR/9
3.0
 
Fastball
92.7 mph
 
ERA
6.00
 
WHIP
2.00
 
BABIP
.155
 
GB/FB
1.33
 
Left On Base
87.0%
 
Exit Velocity
97.4 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
14.3%
 
Spin Rate
1813 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
42.9%
 
Swinging Strike
9.3%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Justus Sheffield
Farm Futures: The Top 400 Update
34 days ago
James Anderson notes the new entrants to his latest top 400 update, as well as highlighting risers, like Toronto's Cavan Biggio, and fallers.
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52 days ago
Madison Bumgarner looks like a solid option against a banged up Yankees' lineup that’s striking out at a 29.4 percent rate against lefties.
AL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
78 days ago
Erik Siegrist looks over the AL free-agent pool and notes a number of bullpens in turmoil, as well as a young slugger getting a shot in Toronto.
Farm Futures: Pitcher Predictions
83 days ago
James Anderson makes his pitching prospect predictions and foresees Brendan McKay cruising through the Rays' system now that he is no longer a two-way player.
Collette Calls: 2019 New Pitches of Note
87 days ago
Jason Collette analyzes pitchers who have added new pitches to their arsenals this spring, like Washington free-agent signing Patrick Corbin, who is bringing back his changeup despite a career year last season.
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
Not a candidate for spot start
PSeattle Mariners  AA
June 1, 2019
Sheffield is not a candidate to start Tuesday's game against the Astros in place of Yusei Kikuchi, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Best outing of season
PSeattle Mariners  AA
May 22, 2019
Sheffield earned his second victory of the season in Triple-A Tacoma's win over Fresno on Wednesday, allowing an earned run on seven hits and a walk over seven innings. He struck out two.
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Not getting promoted yet
PSeattle Mariners  AA
May 19, 2019
Sheffield, who is 1-2 with a 4.38 ERA across seven starts for Triple-A Tacoma, is not expected to be promoted to fill the rotation spot that opened up when Erik Swanson was optioned to the Rainiers, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. "I think when we get to the point where we call Justus up, we'd like to call him up and leave him here and let him go," manager Scott Servais said. "I don't want to call him up and give him one or two outings and then go back and forth. He's working on things right now."
ANALYSIS
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Bounces back after rough outing
PSeattle Mariners  AA
May 7, 2019
Sheffield picked up his first victory of the season in Triple-A Tacoma's win over Albuquerque on Monday, allowing an earned run on four hits and three walks across 5.1 innings while recording five strikeouts.
ANALYSIS
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Returns to Triple-A
PSeattle Mariners  AA
April 27, 2019
Sheffield was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
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