Listed 5-foot-11, 200 pounds, the 20-year-old left-hander opened the year as the youngest pitcher in the Double-A Eastern League. Sheffield had an athletic, simple delivery with a quick arm and three-pitch mix (fastball, slider, changeup). He threw across his body and often fell off towards the third base side, disrupting his ability to stay online and command consistently. Sheffield’s fastball was 91-93 mph, topping out at 94 mph a few times. His slider was 83-87 with tight, late tilt and was an average grade pitch. His changeup was 84-87 mph with arm-side fade away from right-handed hitters and was also an average grade offering. He was able to maintain his velocity over the course of 5 2/3 innings and 101 pitches. However the command and control significantly began to waver towards the end and everything tended to flatten out. Sheffield showed the potential for a future plus fastball with two average grade secondaries. However, there are reasonable concerns given his undersized frame about his ability to hold up over 170+ innings in a starting rotation and have enough control & command over the course of an outing to sustain success in a starting role.
Has added a more pronounced and aggressive leg kick, controls weight transfer well, hands stay back, generates early bat speed; launch angle is still on the flatter side; hard all-fields line-drive contact, strong exit velocities; still very aggressive in the zone, attacks first-pitch fastballs in all quadrants, stays inside the zone consistently, can get him to expand down with off-speed; tough with two strikes, triggers late, fights pitches off when he has to; athletic running motion; closing speed plays as plus to the gaps and coming in, still not showing a ton of interest in timing pitchers, doesn't break consistently; early signs of improvement around the wall in center, area he struggled last year; decent reactions and reads, tends to break conservative, trusts his track and close; above-average profile in left, fringe-average utility in center; 50 arm, above-average velocity, low trajectories, ball lacks a ton of carry, can lose his accuracy when he rushes.
Jose Almonte, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia)
Some width to his midsection, little junk in the trunk, mild physical projection remaining; slow and steady early rhythm, tight leg kick, good posture and balance; uphill delivery, deep arm swing, up and over to a high-three-quarters slot, average arm speed; FB 89-92 (t93), natural cutting action, four-seam variant as well, flashes east-west command, struggled to consistently finish pitch, lost it up with some regularity, average movement, average control, 45/50; CB 76-78, rounder pitch, primarily ball-to-strike, flashed bite but inconsistent, didn't see it as a chaser, 40/50 type; CH 79-81, lacks for great movement, can generate some GBs with velo separation, not a swing-and-miss pitch, struggled to keep it in zone, 40/45; Easy delivery with some projection to average command/control, three pitches show utility, none above-average; swingman/up-down OFP, likely high minors depth.
Justin Donatella, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia)
Big frame, long levers, unbalanced; plane from high-three-quarters; moderate effort, flies open a bit, struggled to finish pitches, consistently left arm behind him and elevated pitches; FB 88-91, fairly straight, some sink, quality plane, can draw out some run, lost pitch up frequently, spotty command, struggled to take advantage of angle and drive it to lower quadrants; SL 83-84, flat, horizontal break, lacked bite, struggled to start it in the zone and take it out, started as a ball out of the hand too often; CH 81, quality fade, only threw a couple but showed fringe-average utility; There's a starter's frame and ostensible three-pitch mix, though he struggled in this start to take advantage of his height and angle to attack the bottom of the zone. He lacks for an out pitch, and doesn't show enough depth in the arsenal to turn over a lineup multiple times without command precision. Length in frame and timing issues staying consistent to slot suggest fine enough command will be a tall order.
Physically maxed, shorter right-hander; full wind, controlled physicality, fluid, online delivery, balanced, clean arm action to high-three-quarters slot, repeats well, above-average command projection based on repeatability, clean mechanics; FB 88-91, plays relatively straight, mild run and sink, lacks life, command-dependent, spots to both sides; shorter frame but average plane from higher arm slot; left a few too many up and over, home run vulnerability, 45/50 pitch with limited margin; CB 81-83, moderate depth, fringe-average horizontal; lacks bite, sets early trajectory with rounder shape; commands it into the zone, plays as a strike-stealer, stayed out of danger with it, struggled to take hitters below the zone for chases, fringe-average pitch; CH 82-84, hard tumble, mild fade, shows split-like action at higher velo; sells it with quality arm speed, left a few hard and flat, generally good feel, 50/55 pitch plays with feel and command; starting pitcher with 45/40 projection, above-average command of decent three-pitch arsenal; stuff is okay, secondaries could use some velo band differentiation, but package can play with command; thin margin for error when delivery is off; big-league potential swing/rotation depth profile.
Cody Sedlock, RHP, Baltimore Orioles (High-A Frederick)
Saw for 5 IP. Big guy with an athletic build; durable body; probably maxed out in terms of build/strength. Three-quarters delivery; choppy windup with lots of moving parts; repeats well despite movement; stab on the windup, finishes well; effort in delivery, unable to maintain velocity throughout game; 90-92 FB early in the start, tempered back to 88-90 later on; FB is a sinker that plays with a heavy, boring, arm-side movement, generates worm-burners and weak contact; as well as whiffs; wasn’t as heavy as he got later into his start. Low-80s CH; can throw for strikes; tumbles down in the zone at times; 75-76 CB, inconsistent shape, but seemed to fool hitters out of the hand, most strikes came looking; major-league caliber pitch; flashed late movement that can play as a strikeout type pitch; Command/Control: Sinker was mostly down in the zone, hard contact when the pitch was left up; was able to hit his spots with the CB and can throw it for strikes even with pretty sharp late movement; Has a feel for his curve and changeup; Showed an ability to throw all four pitches for strikes, but was not as crisp during the last few innings of his outing.