Earlier today, Keith Law released his midseason top 50 prospects list. Curiously enough, only one member of the Yankees’ farm system cracked the list. Justus Sheffield, the club’s top pitching project, ranked number 12.
Law talks up Sheffield’s velocity and plus slider, as demonstrated at last weekend’s Futures Game. He’s skeptical of the southpaw’s changeup usage and offered remarks on his generally poor command. Still, he gives the Yankees’ top minor league arm a positive outlook. “He’s very close to major league-ready, however,” Law writes, “and has all the elements of a future No. 2 starter.”
The 22-year-old has pitched to a 2.53 ERA (3.13 FIP) in 57 innings for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season. He also had a brief stint with the Trenton Thunder, where he pitched well. Sheffield has done a fine job of racking up strikeouts and preventing home runs. The Yankees reportedly made him off limits during the Manny Machado trade discussions.
In a way this isn’t surprising. Heading into the season, only Gleyber Torres and Sheffield cracked Law’s top 50. Estevan Florial never made his top 100, and an injury hampered 2018 would not do much to help his cause. Both Freicer Perez or Albert Abreu landed on the back-half of the top 100 list back in January, but both pitchers have struggled with injuries this season.
What do you think of the rankings? Should the Yankees have been better represented on the list? Let us know in the comment section below!