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Ben Sheets

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Full Name: Ben M. Sheets Primary Position: P
Height/Weight: 6' 1"/195 First Game: April 5, 2001
Birthdate: July 18, 1978 MLB Experience: 6 years
Birthplace: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Bat/Throw: Right/Right


Biography

Born on July 18, 1978 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Ben Sheets (Ben M. Sheets) has played for the Milwaukee Brewers for his entire 6 year career. He graduated from St. Amant High School and attended Northeast Louisiana University. Sheets throws a fastball in the mid-90s but his bread and butter is his hard-breaking overhand curve, which has been described by many as one of the best curveballs in all of Major League Baseball

College

At NLU, Sheets was named a first team All-American by Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America in 1999 as well as the Southland Conference's Player of the Year. He once struck out 20 batters in a single game against Louisiana Tech. He was drafted with the 10th pick of the 1999 amateur draft by the Brewers.

Olympics

Sheets made a name for himself even before he stepped foot on a major league field, leading the United States baseball team to a gold medal victory over Cuba in 2000. Sheets pitched a complete game shutout in the gold medal game, giving up only three hits while striking out five and walking none.

In fact, he gave up only one run in three starts during all of Olympic play, solidifying himself as Tommy Lasorda's ace during the Games.

Majors

After spending only two years in the Brewers minor league system, Sheets made his debut on April 5, 2001 for Milwaukee. He finished his rookie season with an 11-10 record and a 4.76 ERA and made his first All-Star appearance.

The next two seasons were forgettable seasons for the Brewers as a team, but Sheets came into form, although his record may not show it. In 2002, Sheets posted a 4.15 ERA and raised his strikeout total to 170, but won just 11 games compared to 16 losses. The following year was much of the same: 4.45 ERA, 154 strikeouts and 11 wins to 13 losses. He was poised for a breakout year, and in 2004, it happened.

2004

Sheets opened the season in less than spectacular form, giving up three earned runs in only 3.1 innings pitched against the St. Louis Cardinals, though the Brewers still won the game, 8-6.

From there until the All-Star Break, Sheets was a completely different pitcher. On May 16, against the Atlanta Braves, Sheets struck out a career-high 18 batters, one of only 25 times ever a pitcher has struck out 18 or more in a single game. By the All-Star Game, Sheets boasted a 9-5 record and his 2.26 ERA was among the league's best and was selected to his second Midsummer Classic.

After that, he hit a speed bump, losing his next five decisions, though his ERA only climbed to a still very respectable 3.10.

But Sheets righted the ship, giving up no more than three earned runs in a game the rest of the way, lowering his ERA to 2.70 despite winning only three of his last seven decisions.

He finished second in the National League in strikeouts (264), third in innings pitched (237.0), third in ERA (2.70), , second in WHIP (.983), second in complete games (5) and first in strikeout to walk ratio (8.25), leading many to believe that his 12-14 record was the only thing keeping him from a serious run at the 2004 Cy Young Award. He finished in eighth.

2005

In 2005, Sheets began struggling to stay healthy. In late April, just two weeks after signing a four-year contract extension, Sheets went on the disabled list with vestibular neuritis, an inner ear ailment that would return during the 2006 season.

In August, Sheets tore the right latissimus dorsi muscle in his back against Atlanta, and despite picking up the win, the tear ended his season. He finished with a 10-9 record, becoming the first Brewer pitcher to record double digit wins in five consecutive seasons since Mike Caldwell did it from 1979-83.

2006

Sheets began the 2006 season on the disabled list, ending his stretch of Opening Day starts. He returned on April 16 against the New York Mets in a 9-3 loss. In early May, it was shoulder tendonitis that landed him back on the DL, and in August, tightness in his pectoral muscle kept him out of action.

Sheets made just 17 starts total in 2006, recording a 6-7 record with a 3.82 ERA and 116 strikeouts in just 106.0 innings pitched.

2007

Things pointed upward immediately in 2007. Sheets made his fifth Opening Day start, and produced a two-hit complete game in a 7-1 Brewers win against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

He left his start on April 25 after just three innings, with many fearing the worst, but he returned for his next start and recorded eight straight quality starts with a 5-1 record and a 2.45 ERA in those eight starts. On June 14, Sheets recorded his 1,000th career strikeout, becoming the second Brewers' pitcher to reach the milestone.

He was 10-4 with a 3.41 ERA before the All-Star Break, earning him his third trip to the Midsummer Classic, but two weeks later, he was back on the DL with a distral sprain in his right middle finger.

He returned for five starts and went 2-1, tying his career high in wins with 12. He was unable to break the 12-win barrier thanks to tightness in his hamstring. Sheets did not return the rest of the season, and the Brewers lost their lead in the NL Central to the rival Chicago Cubs.

Scouting Report

Statistics

Pitching Stats

Year Team G GS W L ERA K R ER CG SHO SV IP H HR BB IB WP HBP
2001 MIL N 25 25 11 10 4.76 94 89 80 1 1 0 151.1 166 23 48 6 3 5
2002 MIL N 34 34 11 16 4.15 170 105 100 1 0 0 216.2 237 21 70 10 9 10
2003 MIL N 34 34 11 13 4.45 157 122 109 1 0 0 220.2 232 29 43 2 7 6
2004 MIL N 34 34 12 14 2.70 264 85 71 5 0 0 237 201 25 32 1 8 4
2005 MIL N 22 22 10 9 3.33 141 66 58 3 0 0 156.2 142 19 25 1 7 2
2006 MIL N 17 17 6 7 3.82 116 47 45 0 0 0 106 105 9 11 1 3 2
2007 MIL N 24 24 12 5 3.82 106 62 60 2 0 0 141.1 138 17 37 2 4 1
Total 190 190 73 74 3.83 1048 576 523 13 1 0 1229.2 1221 143 266 23 41 30

Fielding Stats

Year Team POS G GS INN PO A ERR DP TP PB SB CS PkO AVG
2001 MIL N P 25 25 151.1 10 24 2 2 0 0 7 4 0 .944
2002 MIL N P 34 34 216.2 28 36 1 6 0 5 14 12 1 .985
2003 MIL N P 34 34 220.2 22 19 2 0 0 2 14 4 1 .953
2004 MIL N P 34 34 237 14 23 2 0 0 0 15 5 1 .949
2005 MIL N P 22 22 156.2 7 6 3 0 0 1 14 2 0 .813
2006 MIL N P 17 17 106 5 8 0 0 0 0 10 2 2 1.000
2007 MIL N P 24 24 141.1 9 10 0 0 0 0 21 0 1 1.000
Total P 190 190 1229.2 95 126 10 8 0 8 95 29 6 .957

Batting Stats

Year Team G AB R H HR RBI AVG OBP SLG 2B 3B BB SO HBP SH SB IBB GDP
2001 MIL N 25 42 4 3 0 1 .071 .152 .071 0 0 4 29 0 2 0 0 0
2002 MIL N 34 68 2 6 0 3 .088 .139 .103 1 0 4 39 0 4 0 0 0
2003 MIL N 34 66 0 5 0 2 .076 .090 .076 0 0 1 35 0 5 0 0 0
2004 MIL N 34 67 2 9 0 1 .134 .194 .134 0 0 5 22 0 9 0 0 2
2005 MIL N 22 45 0 1 0 0 .022 .043 .022 0 0 1 17 0 7 0 0 0
2006 MIL N 17 33 1 1 0 0 .030 .059 .030 0 0 1 13 0 3 0 0 0
2007 MIL N 24 45 1 3 0 0 .067 .067 .067 0 0 0 25 0 6 0 0 0
Total 190 366 10 28 0 7 .077 .115 .079 1 0 16 180 0 36 0 0 2

Transactions

  • Selected by Milwaukee Brewers in the 1st round (10th pick overall) of the free-agent draft (June 2, 1999 - signed July 30, 1999).

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