CLEVELAND, OH - The Cleveland Indians today announced the club has signed LHP JUSTUS SHEFFIELD, the club's first round (31st overall) selection from the June 6th 2014 First-Year Player Draft. The selection was compensation for the free agent signing of RHP UBALDO JIMENEZ by the Baltimore Orioles.
Sheffield, 18, recently completed his senior season at Tullahoma (TN) High School, going 10-0 with a 0.34 ERA (3 ER/61.2 IP) and 131 strikeouts. On Wednesday, the 6-for-1, 180-pound southpaw became the first high school athlete from the state of Tennessee to win a Gatorade National Player of the Year Award after leading his Wildcats team to a third straight district championship and a second round appearance in the Tennessee state playoffs. Past pitching recipients of the award include Zack Greinke ('02), Clayton Kershaw ('06) and Rick Porcello ('07), while Cleveland's 2013 first round selection (5th overall), OF Clint Frazier, earned the distinction last year.
A part-time center-fielder, Sheffield also batted .405/.478/.620 with 13 doubles, 3 homers and 16 RBI at the plate. Sheffield was a 2014 Perfect Game USA First Team All-American and returning First Team All-State selection by the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association. The former Vanderbilt commit's older brother, Jordan, is competing as a freshman RHP in the College World Series for the Commodores baseball team.
The Indians have now signed 19 of their 42 selections from the 2014 draft.