Best AFL Dodger Surprise: Jordan Sheffield (RP)-
Before the AFL began, one of the names that I was most excited to see atop the Glendale Desert Dogs roster, was Jordan Sheffield’s. A reliever from collegiate powerhouse and MLB player-factory, aka: Vanderbilt, the last name: “Sheffield” may raise an eyebrow or two.
That’s because his brother is starting pitcher, Justus Sheffield. He was the main piece of the very recent trade between the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners, for stud starting pitcher, James Paxton aka: “The Eagle has Landed.”
Regardless of any high-profile trade attention, after Jordan’s performance at the AFL, much more attention shall be paid to Jordan, in lieu of his brother, Justice. Whew!
The award’s title may, at first, read a bit “backhanded,” like we had assumed that a great performance (at the AFL) wasn’t expected from Jordan..
Also, the R.C. Quakes are a “A-Advanced” team and scores of players chosen for the AFL are from Double-A and Triple-A. Both Double-A and Triple-A are, by definition, higher-level talent leagues.
Plus there are a lot of former MLB players involved with the AFL every year. Therefore, due to the level of competition that Sheffield’s accustomed to thus far in his career, which is lower than the majority of players at the AFL, Sheffield’s accomplishments are just that much more impressive.
By the end of the AFL, Sheffield held a record of 1-1, with a 1.93 ERA, 1.07 WHIP (walks+hits per inning), 1 save, 9.1 innings pitched, only 6 hits allowed, 4 walks, and he delivered 7 strikeouts.
Atop all of that, he also managed to record two holds. A “hold” is when a reliever comes into the game with runners already on base but manages to exit the inning without allowing a run to score. In a stark, polarizing contrast, a hold is, for example, the exact opposite of Ryan Madson’s 2018 World Series’ appearances.
Hopefully Sheffield’s time at the AFL has taught and/or given him the tools necessary to advance further in the ranks, and eventually into the Bigs (with the Dodgers) by next season’s end.