A consensus scouts’ favorite from the 2019 Draft, T.J. Sikkema had long been on the Yankees’ radar for his illustrious track record, including his time at the University of Missouri. During his freshman year, Sikkema was relied upon immediately as a valuable, high-leverage reliever, as he tied Tanner Houck’s school record for wins by a freshman. He transitioned from Missouri’s closer to the rotation mid-way thru his sophomore season and immediately excelled.
For the following year and a half, scouts raved over Sikkema’s combination of pure talent, aggressiveness, feel for the mound, and overall pitching IQ. A lefty with an advanced feel for a four-pitch arsenal is enough of a profile to garner any scout’s attention, but Sikkema’s funky delivery, mechanics, and lack of remaining projection resulted in him falling out of the first round to the Yankees with the 38th overall selection in 2019. A very similar story we saw play out with quite a few pitchers in the 2020 Draft.
Despite only pitching for 10.2 innings last year for Staten Island, it was enough for us to give a deep dive into the young lefty. Throughout those ten-plus innings, we’ll go thru exactly what had scouts raving over him at Missouri for three years.
While his pure talent was enough to succeed in the SEC conference and in a short-season stint with Staten Island in 2019, will it be enough against advanced hitters as he advances thru the minors? The rest of this interview is exclusive to Pinstriped Prospects Dugout Monthly and Annual Members. Monthly and Annual Dugout Members get complete access to scouting reports, interviews, and more all with limited advertisements on the website. Click here to sign up!