Player: Jordan Sheffield
Drafted by: Boston Red Sox (No. 383 overall)
DOB: 6/1/1995 (Age: 18)
Height/Weight: 6'1"/185 lbs.
School: Tullahoma HS (TN)
College Commitment: Vanderbilt
The nephew of former MLB All-Star Gary Sheffield, Jordan enters this draft as one of the most volatile prospects. He had a chance to be taken very high before the start of the season, but pitched a handful of innings before his arm gave out and he required Tommy John surgery.
That injury left him in a state of flux as the draft approaches. He won't go nearly as high as he would have before the surgery, and would be lucky to go at all because of the loss of money and fact he can rehabilitate his image at Vanderbilt.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
Good height-weight combination already; plenty of room to fill out and add a couple of miles per hour to his fastball; tremendous athleticism will allow him to repeat delivery; learning to pitch, as he still shows signs of being a raw thrower; big-time potential if he makes clean recovery.
Showed plus velocity in short bursts but was sitting in the average range over multiple-inning stints; tremendous arm speed and strength gives him true plus potential with the pitch; will also cut the pitch; ball jumps out of his hand, and he finishes well out front.
Very good feel for breaking ball already; out pitch right now and should remain so in the future; very tight rotation and falls off a table when it enters the zone; good velocity, usually 77-81 at peak; monster upside with full recovery.
Still finding trust in the pitch; shows feel for it in spots but doesn't throw it enough yet for it to project as better than average; given athleticism and maturity on the mound, could easily end up being above-average or better down the line.
Very aggressive on the mound; unafraid to attack hitters in the zone, often succeeding because stuff is so good; professional hitters will force him to throw more quality strikes, but if stuff returns to pre-surgery state, he should miss a lot of bats.
Aside from fastball velocity, command will be the biggest thing he has to regain after returning; shows the ability to hit the glove in spots; no-fear approach to pitching helps his command play up.
MLB Player Comparison: Jordan Zimmermann
Projection: No. 3 starter in first-division rotation if able to fully recover; otherwise, one-inning reliever.
MLB ETA: 2019 (if he signs this year)
Chances of Signing: 15%
Two huge factors work against any team drafting Sheffield this year. First, and most obvious, is the fact that he is recovering from Tommy John surgery. His stock plummeted, as it should, thanks to the injury, and it pushed the amount of money he can earn.
Second, Sheffield has a commitment to Vanderbilt, arguably the best baseball school in the country. He might have taken his talents to school anyway, hoping to become a surefire first-round pick in three years, but that seems even more likely with the injury and recovery.
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