In high school and early in his college career, Walker Sheller was a JARP. That stands for “just another right-handed pitcher”. He was 6’3″ and topping out around 88 mph. There was a chance he could have a pro career but he really needed to find some more velo. hanks to finding a long toss routine that worked for him, he surpassed JARP-hood and became a draft prospect getting in upwards of 95 to 96 mph. The Royals had taken note and in 2016 selected him with their 9th round pick out of Stetson. Prior to Stetson, Sheller went to Lake Sumter College in Florida for one season.
Sheller shot up to Northwest Arkansas to close out the 2017 season after starting in Lexington. He started his pro career in Burlington where he struggled with his control. That season led to 6.3 BB/9 and a 1.2:1 K:BB ratio. He had decent K rates and a decent OBA but the control was always the issue. In 2017, he put those issues behind him and dominated for 2 month before going to Wilmington. There he pitched well enough to move to NWA for the end of the season and their playoff push. He will likely start the 2018 season in the NWA bullpen. There he will look to increase on the 9.5 K/9 that he showed during the year. Opponents struggled to hit .220 against him gaining only 54 hits in 62.1 innings.
Sheller has been described by his coaches as one of the mentally toughest kids they have ever seen. Walker is a competitor who wants to win. Competitive fire is only half of what you need to succeed in pro athletics though. The other half is physical talent and it appears he has both of these. The 2018 season could be a breakout year for him and I hope you put him on your watch list because he is no longer just another right-handed pitcher.
Photo Credits: Stetson University