2016 MLB Draft Profile: RHP Jordan Sheffield, Vanderbilt

The sixth profile in my MLB Draft profile series is on a player who has bloodlines and a ton of talent in Jordan Sheffield.

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Vitals
6’0, 185 pounds
Position: Pitcher
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
DOB: June 1, 1995

Location
Nashville, Tenn.
Class: Redshirt Sophomore

Rankings
Baseball America: 23
Baseball Prospectus: 31
ESPN: 23
Minor League Ball: 21
MLB.com: 19
Perfect Game: 26
Scouting Baseball: 10

Slot recommended bonus (No. 20): $2,316,300
Slot recommended bonus (No. 32): $1,940,700
Slot recommended bonus (No. 36): $1,791,000

Editor’s note: All information of draft prospects compiled from internet sources, scouting reports and video.

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Sheffield isn’t a prototypical starting pitcher, as you can see from his 6’0, 185-pound frame. But he gets the most out of his smallish stature, and when he’s on, he’s one of the better pitchers in the country.

Armed with elite fastball velocity, Sheffield does a lot of damage with his heater. It sits in the 94-96 MPH range and has touched 98 in the past. He can sink it and cut it a bit, so it isn’t just a straight 4-seamer that is much easier for MLB hitters to track. He also has a slider/curveball concoction that has flashed above-average and sits in the low-80s. It isn’t sure what kind of pitch it is just yet, but it has swing-and-miss potential. He also has a changeup that has glimpses of being at least a solid-average pitch. If he’s to remain in a big-league rotation, he’ll need all three of his pitches.

Sheffield has an odd delivery. He stands with his right foot on the third-base side of the rubber pointed toward the third base dugout. He then closes his front side while bringing his left foot parallel with his right. From there, he begins his delivery. He has a high leg lift and is quick to go through his motion. He has elite arm speed that whips through his body and toward the plate. Sheffield delivers from a high three-quarters slot that allows him to get movement on his pitches. It’s not a max effort delivery, but there’s plenty of effort in it that it could be hard to repeat at times. It’s rather impressive how much velocity he’s able to generate without a typical starter’s size.

 

Video

Video courtesy of Jheremy Brown (Perfect Game) and Andrew Krause

Sheffield has already had Tommy John surgery, hence the redshirt sophomore classification. He has two more years of eligibility remaining, if he were to not sign. But as almost a surefire 1st-rounder, and with his injury past, it’s hard not to see him signing. His ceiling is that of a No. 2 starter. More likely, he’s a No. 3/4 guy or a dominant power reliever out of the bullpen. He could be similar to Grant Holmes in that regard, but Holmes has a larger frame. The easy (lazy) comp is Marcus Stroman.

His brother Justus Sheffield was Cleveland’s 1st-round draft pick in 2014 (No. 31 overall). If the Dodgers were to pop him at No. 20, that’d be OK. There’s more value in the pick if he falls to 32, as there is the potential for some prep players to slide down the board due to signability concerns. Sheffield is one of the best, pure college arms available. Despite the risk with the injury situation and the fact he isn’t a cinch to be a starting pitcher, he’d be worth the risk and investment.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.