Ben Sheets: The biggest hero on the
gold-winning United States Baseball team, Sheets is quickly risen through
the minors and is now one of the top pitching prospects at any
At 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, this 22-year-old spent his first
full season at Double-A Huntsville in the Southern League. Even with the
likes of Jon Rauch in the same league, Sheets was just as dominating as he
posted a 5-3 record with a 1.88 ERA, 72 innings pitched, 55 hits, 25
walks, and 60 strikeouts in 13 games. Had it not been for the Olympics, he
would have certainly been up with the Brewers in September.
started to catch many eyes in the Cape Cod League in 1998. Eventually, he
was drafted by Milwaukee in the first round of the 1999 draft out of
Northeast Louisiana (10th overall). Sheets combines a upper-90s fastball,
low 90s sinker, sharp-breaking curve, and changeup in his arsenal. When
you command this along with his presence on the mound and command, you
have the makings of a possible dominate major leaguer.
Even though his Triple-A experience was
limited in 2000, look for Sheets to get every chance to win a spot in the
Brewers rotation in spring Training. If he does, he should be considered
as a top candidate for rookie-of-the-year going into the beginning of the
season. Late in 2000, the organization brought Sheets and his family in
for a game and to acknowledge his performance in the Olympics. It was the
first of what could become many standing ovations that Sheets will
receive in the majors.