Let's Go Tribe is putting together its own ranking of the top Indians prospects. Here are the previous entries in the series:
- Francisco Lindor
- Clint Frazier
- Bradley Zimmer
- Giovanny Urshela
- Francisco Mejia
- Tyler Naquin
- Bobby Bradley
- James Ramsey
The vote for #9 was a two-man race, with Justus Sheffield beating out Erik Gonzalez 49% to 29%. The third-place finisher (Mitch Brown) received just 10% of the vote.:
- Justus Sheffield 49%
- Erik Gonzalez 29%
- Mitch Brown 10%
- Mike Papi 7%
- Luis Lugo 1%
- Yu Cheng Chang 3%
Sheffield, like Zimmer and Bradley, was drafted this past June by the Indians. The Indians selected Sheffield (who is not related to former MLB outfielder Gary Sheffield) with their second selection (31st overall), a pick they received as compensation for losing Ubaldo Jimenez to free agency after the 2013 season.
Sheffield is not a tall pitcher (5'10"), but he's left-handed and already has three advanced pitches in his arsenal. He features a low-90s fastball, and two offspeed pitches (curve and change) that he can throw 15 mph slower than his fastball. His pro debut was marred by a poor final outing (3.2 IP, 7 R, 4 ER), but overall his peripherals look fine. Baseball America ranked him the fourth-best prospect (just behind Bobby Bradley) in the Arizona League.
After the season Sheffield got into legal trouble after breaking into a house in his hometown of Tullahoma, Tennessee. This past week he entered into a plea agreement that reduced the original charges. In addition those reduced charges will be expunged from his record should he meet all the requirements of the agreement.
I'd like to think that Sheffield will make the jump to Lake County this spring; he has the tools and the polish to make the transition to a full-season club. With the system devoid of upper-level pitching prospects, Sheffield himself will be the determining factor as to how quickly he rises through the system. If everything goes according to schedule, Sheffield should see Cleveland in 2018.
Who do you think should be the #10 Indians prospect?
Remember to also let us know in the comments which player you think should join the voting next.
Other Indians Top Prospect Lists