The Dodgers have signed first-round pick Jordan Sheffield, the right-hander announced on Instagram. Los Angeles selected Sheffield 36th overall, the competitive balance pick it received for not signing Kyle Funkhouser – whom it took 35th a year ago. Sheffield will land a $1.85MM bonus, which is more expensive than the value of the pick ($1.79MM), tweets Jim Callis of MLB.com.
Sheffield, 21, garnered solid pre-draft rankings from prospect experts, with Callis and colleague Jonathan Mayo placing him 19th, Baseball America (subscription required) 23rd and ESPN’s Keith Law (Insider required) 31st. Law actually had Sheffield ending up with the Dodgers in his June 9 mock draft, but with the 32nd pick instead of the 36th. Sheffield is perhaps the likeliest pitcher in this year’s draft to develop three plus offerings, according to Callis and Mayo, who praised his high-velocity fastball (94 to 96, with the ability to hit 98), breaking ball and circle change. However, the 6-foot, 185-pounder’s size, past Tommy John surgery and high-effort delivery are red flags, per Callis and Mayo.
Sheffield, the brother of Indians left-handed prospect Justus Sheffield, was previously a 13th-round pick of the Red Sox in 2013 after his stock fell because of his Tommy John procedure. However, in lieu of signing with the Sox, he chose to honor his commitment to Vanderbilt. He recovered from the surgery to rebuild his stock at the college level and will now join the Dodgers. With Sheffield locked up, the Dodgers have their first 12 picks – and 16 of their initial 17 selections – under contract, as Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register tweets.