10/10/17 Arizona Fall League Notes

Justus Sheffield (LHP) New York Yankees – A top prospect in the Yankees system, Sheffield looked damn near major league ready tonight. The fastball sat comfortably around 94-95 and touched 97. He throws a hard slider in the 85-87 range, which missed a good amount of bats. Guys were swinging over the top on it. His third pitch was a change in the 86-88 range. It was used primarily on the right side of the plate (batter’s view). I liked how Sheffield was able to repeat his mechanics, and he had good command of all of his pitches. This was the first time I had seen him, and I came away impressed. The offspeed pitches were better than I expected based on the reports I had read.

Alec Mills (RHP) Chicago Cubs – Mills is another major league ready guy who is waiting for an opportunity. He should generate a lot of groud balls.  Mills operates mostly in the bottom of the zone and all of his stuff sinks. The fastball sat 91-92, and Mills could command it to both sides. He also employs a curveball the with 1 to 7 movement (pitcher perspective) in the 72-73 range with good depth. The slider was 78-80 with slight movement glove side. His change was also in the 80-83 range with move of a pure vertical drop. The slider and changed looked very similar to me. I am unsure whether this is a positive or a negative. I could see a scenario where hitters may think slider and get change (or vice-versa) and miscalculate a little resulting in soft contact. I could also see a scenario where hitters could be looking for something in the low 80s velocity band, and they would be able to react to both pitches, in essance giving Mills only three effective options. Overall, I think Mills is a viable fifth starter.