Is Ben Sheets Worth The Risk?

It feels as if I was writing this exact same article around this time last year.

Oh wait, that’s right, I was.

Although the situation is very similar, last season’s setback that made Ben Sheets miss the entire season will undoubtedly be in the back of many team’s minds when they consider whether or not to sign the former stud pitcher. I have always been a fan of Sheets and was very vocal in my stance that teams should give him a chance to prove himself last season in some sort of incentive laden deal.

While I admit I was wrong in my stance (thanks to the injury), I am back on the same boat this season and think that teams should give him a chance. And to back up my view, here is a look at what Sheets has done as well as my scouting report on him before the injury.

NAME: Ben Sheets
BORN: 7/18/1978
AGE: 30
BATS: Right
COLLEGE: Northeast Louisiana
MLB DEBUT: 4/5/2001

31 198.1 13-9 3.09 158 19.5% 3.56

When Ben Sheets is on the mound he’s been fantastic. The problem over his career has been keeping him healthy enough to be on the mound. Although he has missed time, the number of games has gone up each of the past three seasons. In 2006 he appeared in only 17 games, 2007 he found the mound in 24 games and a career high 31 times in 2008. So while the trend has gone up, the lingering worry still hangs over his head. Just ask the Brewers and their fans.

Although when Sheets is on the mound he’s a true ace. Sheets has a 3/4 arm slot delivery which produces an impressive fastball. The fastball sits in the low to mid-90’s with great life both up and down in the strike zone. Sheets also has the ability to locate his fastball consistently on both sides of the plate and even can add a little cut motion to it. The former Brewer also possess a huge plus-power curveball with a fantastic downward drop and a changeup with solid fading action which he disguises well with an arm speed similar to his fastball.

As you can see when Sheets is on and healthy he can be one of the best pitchers in the game. Sheets is also a great competitor and wants to win with everything he has. This makes him a great addition to any club. I’ve always enjoyed watching the righthander on the mound and I highly suggest trying to find an archived game somewhere on or iTunes and checking him out.

Now let’s hope he proves me right this time.

(photo courtesy of: Scott Abelman/Flickr)


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