This week we're looking at a pitcher who went from completely unheard of to...well, still pretty unheard of in dynasty baseball rankings. We're talking about dynasty baseball prospect Emmet Sheehan.
If there’s one team you’d want to bet on for making the most out of a somewhat inconsistent prospect, it’s probably the Los Angeles Dodgers. The organization seems to grow fast-rising prospects on trees.
Sheehan was not a highly coveted pick. He went in the sixth round at No. 192 overall in 2021. He flashed some brilliance at Boston College, setting a school record with 15 strikeouts in one game and posting 106 Ks in 76.2 IP as a senior. But injuries and command issues seemed to tamper expectations for the 6-foot-5 righty.
Fortunately, Sheehan has already made strides in his short tenure with the Dodgers. Sheehan's fastball hovered in the low 90s in his final college season, but now he's throwing around 95-97 mph and even touching 99 mph in the minors. If his progress continues, we could be looking at starter with decent upside.
Under-the-Radar Dynasty Baseball Prospect: Emmet Sheehan
2022 in Review
The whiff rates continue to stand out in the pros. Sheehan posted a 14.28 K/9 rate in 18 games at High-A last season. With a 7-2 record through 12 starts and a 2.78 xFIP, the Dodgers rightly bumped him up to Double-A to end the season.
Only eight pitching prospects finished 2022 with a min. 60 IP, a K-BB% higher than 25%, an opponents' batting average below .200 and an xFIP below 3.00:
- Kyle Harrison
- Jack Leftwich
- Andrew Painter
- Ricky Tiedemann
- Grayson Rodriguez
- Noah Denoyer
- Josh Simpson
- And of course, Emmet Sheehan
Considering that group includes arguably the top three pitching prospects for dynasty leagues right now, that’s impressive company for Sheehan.
He recorded at least 7 Ks in nine games in 2022. None of those outings went longer than 5 IP. Sheehan only allowed three or more runs in three appearances.
While his stats at Double-A initially look concerning, that's entirely the result of his first start that lasted 1.1 innings. Sheehan settled down in his second game with Tulsa, going 3 IP with 4 Ks, one hit and one walk.
Arizona Fall League
Sheehan pitched 20.1 innings in the Arizona Fall League (AFL), recording 24 strikeouts and a 3.54 ERA.
One outing in particular caught everyone’s attention.
#Dodgers No. 22 prospect Emmet Sheehan was dominant in the Arizona Fall League today. His line: 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K. He struck out an incredible eight batters in a row at one point. #AlwaysLA pic.twitter.com/e9lXy9oq01
— Bruce K (@Bnicklaus7) November 8, 2022
According to MLB Pipeline’s Jesse Borek, Sheehan’s performance marked the first AFL outing since 2005 with at least 8 Ks, zero runs and one or fewer baserunners allowed.
The Athletic’s Zach Buchanan highlighted Sheehan among his 10 AFL prospects that scouts liked most. On Sheehan’s fastball, Buchanan said, “The pitch sits in the mid-90s — it might play up when Sheehan isn’t pitching at the end of the longest season of his life — and coming from a low slot with good spin, it has a lot of carry that sneaks it past hitters.
Another scout he talked described Sheehan as “one of the most live arms of any of the guys in the fall.” Ready to buy in yet?
The good news is Sheehan's price in dynasty leagues is probably next to nothing at this point. I assume many leagues still have him as a free agent.
This is a crucial season upcoming for the 23-year-old. It's no secret the Dodgers are flush with pitching prospects. Gavin Stone, Bobby Miller and Ryan Pepiot will all be in the mix this year. The Dodgers also appear to be set with their starting rotation at the moment.
Sheehan will need to build out his arsenal a bit to continue to climb dynasty rankings. He seems optimistic about the development of his curveball. If his secondary pitches don't improve enough, though, we could be looking at a high-leverage reliever at least.
F6P's Mike Schneider mentioned Sheehan as a later pitching prospect that has emerged in his end-of-season prospect rankings. If you have room for him, now would be a good time to take a gamble on Sheehan before we see what happens in 2023.
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