The Keepers - #28 - RP - Chad Sheppard

#28 - Chad Sheppard: RP

From BA: - Luke Irvine drew more of the early attention at Northwestern State, but scouts came away preferring Sheppard because he has a better body and a better secondary pitch. After redshirting in 2008, Sheppard tied the Demons' save record with 10 as a freshman last spring, then matched that total again this season. He uses his 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame and low-90s sinker to keep the ball down in the strike zone and induce grounders. He has given up just two homers in two college seasons. His slider is a solid No. 2 pitch, though it can get slurvy at times. When he has both pitches working and throws strikes, Sheppard can be all but unhittable. His frame would suggest durability, but he has worked exclusively out of the bullpen in college and likely will remain a reliever in pro ball. Though he's a draft-eligible sophomore, scouts don't think he'll be difficult to sign.

www.perfectgame.org/Articles/Vie  ... ticle=4761 - BEST TOOLS - Best Velocity: Chad Sheppard, rhp, Northwestern State.

http://www.shreveporttimes.com/article/  ... r-pressure - "He's been our go-to guy out of the pen," NSU coach J.P. Davis said. "He's really handled the pressure situations great. Early in the year it was a one-inning save maybe. Here down the stretch we've looked to him for three to four innings at a time. He's had a two-year career here, but it's been very special." Sheppard's fastball now hovers around 96 mph, up from the 88-92 mph range he threw his freshman year. "He's made a lot of improvements since he got here," said NSU pitcher Dustin Northcott, who is also Sheppard's roommate. "Half of it would be mental and half of it would be physical. His mental game and confidence have definitely gotten better. He's a really humble guy." His appearances on the mound don't happen without scouts in the stands now. Davis said Sheppard, a right-hander, could be anywhere from a third to sixth-round draft pick.

"His velocity has gone up, but more than anything it's his ability to throw the fastball down and away and throw the breaking ball for strikes and the put away," Davis said. "He's really listened, and all the hard work he's put in is paying off."

11-30-10: - Mack: Morning everybody. We're talking today to Mack's Keepers #67 and the Mets' 17th round draft pick in 2010, closer Chad Sheppard. Hey Chad. How's the off-season going?

Sheppard: It's going great, I just finished up PT and I'm feeling strong. Other than that I've just been hunting fishing and getting myself ready for ST.

Mack: Chad, the first question is the same one I ask everybody. Take us back to that day your name was called out and tell us how that felt.

Sheppard: It was a day that I’ll always remember. Playing pro ball was something that I had dreamed about since I was little. I was with my family and they were all happy when they heard my name. Even though draft day is stressful, it was one of the best days of my life.

Mack: So, what was the first thing you bought with the signup moolah?

Sheppard: Haha, the first thing that I bought was a new boat...I love to fish have been wanting a boat for a long time and now I can fish wherever I want. My friends are happy with that decision too, it seems like I always have a fishing partner!

Mack: Ok... that's the first boat I found... 80% say a new truck. Chad, you went low in the draft because most of so-called draft experts had you as a no-sign. What made you change your mind?

Sheppard: Well my mind was never made on not signing. From the beginning of the year I had set my mind on getting drafted and starting my pro career. I was really counting on going higher but when it came down to it, I guess I was just ready to play.

Mack: Good. And believe me, no one knows what they are going to do until the moment they do it. Chad, everybody loved you when your fast ball (with sink) was 90-92. Now, you're up to 96... what else do you throw?

Sheppard: Well, in college I got by with throwing a lot of fastballs...and as long as I could throw strikes and get ahead in counts I could put people away with my slider. I've thrown a splitter some but I'm really working on a solid change.

Mack: Your old coach at State said you really worked your ass off on developing your pitches, especially your breaking ball. I'm going to assume you will enter the Mets organization as a closer, and I have you slotted for A+ ball in Port St. Lucie. FYI... the only other "successful" closers in the system right now are Victor Peralta (slotted to come from the DSL Mets to either the GCL Mets or Kingsport) and Ryan Fraser, who pitching coaches hinted at during the end of last season that might be turned into a starter.

Is there a question here? Yes... what have you planned in the off-season to get you ready for March?

Sheppard: Well, thanks, I know that I have a lot of ground to make up so Im just working hard to get back in shape physically and mentally. I’m ready to step up for the Mets organization and deliver. Playing ball in St. Lucie would be fine with me and I def think I could help the club...Overall I've got to get back on my game and Im making all the stops this off season to get there.

Mack: Chad, that's all any fan can ask. Thanks for your time and I hope to run into you on the back fields in March.


Mack's Mets © 2012