Dodgers’ Sheehan makes great start in Arizona

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Sheehan's performance powered the Glendale Desert Dogs to their first shutout win of the 2022 fall league.

Dodgers No. 22 prospect Emmet Sheehan had a quality outing Tuesday in the Arizona Fall League. He threw five scoreless innings, only allowing three baserunners and striking out four. Three of his four strikeouts were of the looking variety, which is a testament to how well his stuff was working and fooling opposing batters. His command was also sharper than it’s been at times this fall, throwing 73% of his pitches for strikes and only issuing one walk.

This was a great bounce-back for Sheehan after an ugly start last week, where he couldn’t make it out of the first inning before allowing six earned runs. His performance Tuesday got his ERA for the fall back under 5.00 and netted his second career fall league win. Overall, he’s now 2-1 with a 4.70 ERA since the fall league began.

Sheehan was a sixth round pick in the 2021 draft and has quickly emerged as a high ceiling arm. His first full professional year got him to Double-A by the end of the regular season. That came after he dominated High-A with an absurd run over his final 13 Great Lakes outings, going 7-0 with a 1.32 ERA in 54 2/3 innings. He established himself as a name to watch on this run, gaining attention and entering the Dodgers Top 30 prospects list.

The Boston College product attacks hitters with a dynamic fastball-changeup duo, with both pitches being above average offerings. His changeup flashes greatness and his fastball sits in the mid-to-high 90s. He has a much lesser used slider as well to mix in a third look. Sheehan is an analytics superstar, with a low arm slot and good carry creating deception and making his pitches play even better.

He’ll need to develop his slider more to remain as a starter into the future. But at 22, his fastball-changeup combo are good enough to project him as a big league arm someday, even if that comes as a reliever if the third pitch doesn’t come along. He spent the first part of 2022 in a swingman role making multi-inning relief appearances, so that is a possibility in the future as well.

Sheehan’s results this season were undeniable, and this most recent fall league start showed him getting back to that success. The Dodgers have a ridiculous plethora of explosive young arms, and Sheehan is climbing his way up the list with his impressive play. If he can continue to produce with Tulsa next year, Sheehan could find himself on the Top 100 prospects list by the end of the season.

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