This post is part of our broader end-of-season content/awards lineup that’s being published on the site today; click here for more information on that list, and to see the other awards and posts within. Up first right here in that series are our two picks for the most dominant pitching outings that we captured on video in 2017: a September High-A relief appearance by Los Angeles Dodgers relief prospect Jordan Sheffield, and a June Triple-A outing from veteran Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Rubby De La Rosa.
Jordan Sheffield, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Date/Location: September 7, 2017 for the High-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on the road at The Hangar in Lancaster, California against the Lancaster JetHawks in Game Two of the California League South Division Championship Series.
Result: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 12 pitches (10 strikes).
Batters faced: Garrett Hampson (pop out), Brendan Rodgers (strikeout), Yonathan Daza (strikeout).
Velocity: 95-98 mph fastball, 86-87 mph slider.
Notes: A starter his entire professional career right up until this very relief outing in the Cal League playoffs, Dodgers prospect Jordan Sheffield proved in exactly twelve pitches why he ought to be a high-leverage relief piece for the rest of his baseball life. Sitting in the upper 90s with ease is cool enough, but it’s that 87 mph slider that really brings home our pick here; in the first at-bat captured in this video, Sheffield throws a slider with break so hard and late that Garrett Hampson literally fouls it off the ground. Pretty filthy.
Links: We initially wrote about Jordan Sheffield and this particular relief outing back on September 8th; click here to read that post.
Rubby De La Rosa, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Date/Location: June 20, 2017 for the Reno Aces at home in Reno, Nevada at Greater Nevada Field against the Las Vegas 51s in Triple-A Pacific Coast League play.
Result: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 17 pitches (11 strikes).
Batters faced: Xorge Carrillo (strikeout), Jio Mier (strikeout), Cody Decker (walk), Victor Cruzado (groundout).
Velocity: 95-99 mph fastball, 83-87 mph slider.
Notes: Rubby De La Rosa loses his command just a little bit during the end of this outing, but it’s one of our two most dominant for two very simple reasons: first, De La Rosa showed off the easiest, calmest upper 90s mechanics we saw all year long; and second, the poor swings and double-clutch flinching hitters showed on his hard slider tell you all you need to know about how locked in the righty’s stuff was that day in Reno. Nobody had any chance to make good contact against De La Rosa that day, and dominance like that earns some admiration around here.
Links: We initially wrote about Rubby De La Rosa and this impressive outing back on June 21; click here to read that post.
Congratulations to Jordan Sheffield and Rubby De La Rosa who, in these specific moments during the summer, proved themselves to be the most dominant relievers we watched work So dominant that, as you can tell by the very existence of this post, their single-outing brilliance has stuck with us enough to last into the offseason and earn some credit here in our season-ending series.
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