Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Los Angeles Dodgers prospect Emmet Sheehan has been on a rapid ascension this season, as he joined Michael Grove as the only Minor Leaguer to make the jump from Double-A Tulsa to MLB debut under president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.
Some of that was a matter of circumstance, as the Dodgers starting rotation has been decimated by injuries during the first half of the regular season. But the 23-year-old also earned the opportunity behind an impressive development since being selected in the sixth round (pick No. 192 overall) of the 2021 MLB Draft.
Sheehan’s continued growth early into his professional career has been an extension from a commitment made while attending Boston College.
After being disappointed with his placement on a prospects list for the 2021 Draft class, Sheehan explained to Jack Harris of the L.A. Times that it brought about a change in mindset and work:
“I knew I had it in me.” he said of making it to the major leagues. “But I knew I wasn’t really putting in the work that I had to be. I knew a lot of guys were working harder than me at that time. So I looked at it like, do I want to be sitting here next year saying, ‘What could have been?’ Or do I want to be the guy that’s getting picked up next year?”
“That,” he continued, “was a huge turning point for me.”
Sheehan’s strides to improve was interrupted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but he used that opportunity to become more self-sufficient:
To keep his arm fresh, Sheehan would regularly throw with a group of childhood friends, or make late-night treks to a nearby baseball facility where he could use pitching nets (Maureen said Sheehan tried building a mound in their backyard, but gave up on that plan after he kept firing pitches through a makeshift chicken-wire fence).
To keep his mind sharp, Sheehan read self-help and motivational books, most notably one from marathon runner and former Navy Seal David Goggins (also a favorite author of Dodgers star Mookie Betts).
To hone his athleticism, the 6-foot-5 hurler overhauled his diet, developed a routine of sprints and jumps at a public field nearby, and even erected a pop-up tent in his mother’s backyard to install a bench press.
Sheehan struggled some in his debut season but found better results with High-A Great Lakes in 2022. He was promoted to Double-A Tulsa at the end of the year and made two starts, with the last being three scoreless innings.
Sheehan was part of a talented Drillers starting rotation this season and after dominating in 12 games (10 starts), was primed to join Triple-A Oklahoma City. However, before the right-hander could get settled in with the Dodgers’ top affiliate, he earned a callup to the Major League level.
Emmet Sheehan part of rare MLB debut group
Ross Stripling (7.1 innings on April 8, 2016), Daniel Ponce de Leon (7 innings on July 23, 2018) and Sheehan (six innings on June 16) are the only pitchers in MLB history with at least six no-hit innings in their MLB debuts.
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