This past weekend both Jordan Sheffield and Justus Sheffield received recognition for their performances on the diamond for both of their respective clubs.
Jordan, a 2013 Tullahoma High School graduate, was named the Tulsa Drillers’ Dicks Sporting Goods Player of the Month on Saturday night. Justus, a 2014 THS graduate, was mentioned by the Seattle Mariners as one of its top minor league pitchers in the month of June on Friday evening.
Since joining Tulsa in the middle of May, Jordan has a 2-1 record with the Drillers, with four saves in 18 innings pitched. He has allowed five earned runs and seven hits, for an ERA of 2.50, allowing 12 walks in his 16 games pitched, with 28 strikeouts.
After graduating from Tullahoma, Jordan attended Vanderbilt University. In 2016, the right-handed pitcher was a first-round draft selection of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.
Since being drafted, Jordan spent time in the Arizona League before being called up to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, the Dodgers’ Class A-Advanced affiliate, in 2017. For the majority of the 2018 season, Jordan was plagued by on-the-field troubles and a forearm injury, which sidelined him for the majority of last year.
Before hitting the disabled list, Jordan had an ERA of 7.33 in just seven starts. However, once he returned from injury, he was moved to the bullpen, where he didn’t allow a run in seven of his final nine outings of the year.
That success carried over into this season for Jordan. In 15 appearances, he allowed just five runs in 17.1 innings pitched, for an ERA of 2.60, striking out 26 batters, while only allowing six hits and five walks.
That success was rewarded and on May 15, Jordan was promoted to double-A, joining the Drillers.
Justus had spent the majority of his season in Triple-A for the Seattle Mariners, pitching for the Tacoma Rainiers. However, up there, the left-hander struggled for consistency and put together a 2-6 record with a 6.87 ERA in 13 games, with 12 of those being starts.
So far in Arkansas, Justus has found himself again, allowing three runs across 27 innings, for an ERA of 1.00, winning all four games that he’s pitched. He’s also seen a rise in strikeouts, striking out 29 batters and only allowing five walks. Those walks are what plagued Justus in Tacoma, as he allowed 41 base on balls across 55 innings pitched.
After graduating from Tullahoma, Justus was a first-round selection of the Cleveland Indians straight out of high school. In 2016, he was traded to the New York Yankees organization, where he spent the last three years, making his major league debut at Yankee Stadium last September against the Boston Red Sox.
During this past offseason, Justus was part of a trade that sent him to Seattle, while the Yankees received starting pitcher James Paxton from the Mariners. The majority of this year, Justus has been with the Rainiers, making one appearance for the Mariners.
Coming out of the bullpen, Justus pitched three innings against the Texas Rangers in Seattle on April 26. In that outing, Justus was a little erratic for the Mariners, surrendering a pair of runs, including a home run and four walks.
On Tuesday, Justus was scheduled to make the start for the Travelers when they faced off against Northwest Arkansas. As of press time though, the result from that contest was unavailable.
Hess improving in Norfolk
Justus hasn’t been the only one who has been finding himself since being demoted. In late June, the Baltimore Orioles optioned David Hess, a 2011 THS graduate, to the Triple-A Norfolk Tides.
After allowing five runs in his first outing for Norfolk, Hess has since settled down, shutting out opponents in his next nine innings pitched. On Saturday, the right-hander tossed three innings against Charlotte, allowing just a hit and a walk, while striking out five batters.
Prior to being sent to Norfolk, Hess had been a starter for the Orioles, struggling severely. After nearly tossing a no-hitter at Toronto in April this year, Hess seemingly lost rhythm. In 13 starts this year in Baltimore, Hess has a 1-9 record, with a 7.36 ERA in 66 innings pitched.
On Saturday, the Orioles recalled Hess to the major leagues. However, after Sunday’s matchup, Hess was reassigned back to Norfolk after not making an appearance for Baltimore during his brief two-day stint.
In four games with the Tides, Hess has a 1-1 record and picked up a save. In 11 innings, he’s allowed five runs on 10 hits and three walks, while striking out 14 batters.
Hess was selected by the Orioles in the fifth round of the 2014 MLB Draft. He officially made his debut with the Orioles in May of 2018 and has been with the organization since that time.