The New York Yankees have reportedly promoted top prospect Justus Sheffield to the big leagues, according to Conor Foley of the Scranton Times-Tribune. Domingo German, who was up with the big league team earlier this season, has also been promoted to the majors.
Justus Sheffield has been promoted to the Yankees. Domingo Germán, too.
— Conor Foley (@RailRidersTT) September 15, 2018
The Yankees’ 40-man roster is full, so the organization will have to make a roster move for Sheffield. Sheffield ranks as the Yankees’ top prospect on our mid-season top prospects list.
The 22-year-old southpaw started out the 2018 campaign in Double-A Trenton, pitching to a 2.25 ERA with a 39/14 K/BB ratio in five starts, earning him a promotion to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He posted a 2.56 ERA with an 84/36 K/BB ratio in 20 games (15 starts) with the Railriders.
Over the last few weeks, near the end of August, the organization decided to move Sheffield to the bullpen to get him ready for a potential call-up in September to the major-league squad. In 12.1 innings out of the bullpen since his move to the bullpen on August 21, he posted a 2.92 ERA (four earned runs) with 12 strikeouts and one walk allowed.
Here’s what MLB Pipeline has on the 5-foot-11 Sheffield:
“Sheffield could have three plus pitches when all is said and done. His 92-97 mph fastball features some run and sink and is his most consistent offering, though his mid-80s slider may have more upside. His changeup isn’t as reliable as his first two options, yet he still shows the ability to miss bats with it.
Though Sheffield is a little shorter than desired for a starter at 5-foot-11, he still creates downhill plane with his delivery and doesn’t throw with excessive effort. He’s athletic and has been durable as a pro outside of his oblique injury. He improved his control in 2017 and has the potential to become a No. 3 starter.”
The lefty has the potential to be a number Three starter—according to MLB Pipeline—but for now, he’ll work out of the Yankees’ bullpen, as the likes of Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, J.A. Happ, Lance Lynn, and C.C. Sabathia fill out the big league rotation. However, he will have a legitimate shot to win a spot in the 2019 rotation next spring with just two starters—Severino and Tanaka—guaranteed to be back next season.