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Yankees’ prospect Justus Sheffield to get head start on Spring Training

New York Yankees No. 6 ranked prospect Justus Sheffield will head for Tampa a little early this Spring, making sure he’s ahead of the game. 

Justus Sheffield, the New York Yankees top pitching prospect according to MLB Pipeline, is reportedly heading to Spring Training a little early this year.

Via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, the 20-year old southpaw will report to Tampa on Tuesday, January 24 — 20 days before pitchers and catchers report.

Acquired in the deal that sent Andrew Miller to the Cleveland Indians on July 31, Sheffield needed only five starts (3-1, 1.73 ERA, 27 K’s) before earning a promotion from High-A Tampa to Double-A Trenton.

In his lone start for the Thunder, he struck out nine in four innings of work against the Reading Fightin Phils. In 25 starts across the board in 2016, he struck out 129 batters (9.3 K/9) and owned a batting average against of .230.

Over his three-year minor league career, Sheffield has struck out 296 batters in 273.1 innings (55 starts) including a 3.33 ERA.

While undersized at a mere 5-foot-10, Pipeline suggests Sheffield has the potential to mature into a quality mid-rotation starting pitcher, thanks to his unique fastball that can hit 96 mph with “late, arm-side life and some sink.”

Sheffield, following an impressive 2016 showcase, is certainly working his way up the ladder to potential major league stardom.

Joining the likes of Clint Frazier (also acquired in the Miller deal), James Kaprielian, Gleyber Torres, Gary Sanchez and others this spring, George M. Steinbrenner field will play host to a unique display of Baby Bombers.