Sherriff came to the Fall league after a full season at Triple-A Memphis, where his first-half performance as a middle reliever for the Red Birds earned him an All-Star berth, but trouble getting right-handed hitters out led to some inflated second-half numbers.
A 28th-rounder from 2011, Sherriff has an up-tempo delivery and quick arm, with some high-effort mechanics that include a drop-and-drive push off the mound. His low-3/4s arm slot helps to hide the ball and adds some deception to his stuff.
His fastball is above average at 91-to-94 mph, showing some consistent sink in the lower band. He will also get some run to the armside at times to vary the look in the upper velo range. In this October 14 viewing, the command to the arm-side was inconsistent, and he was leaving some offerings in the middle of the zone for contact.
His slider is in the 81-to-84 mph range, showing average depth and sharp bite. It played up a tick to average overall because of the release point and angle of the delivery. It was effective to hitters on both sides of the plate and did generate some swing and miss at times, and he shows some ability to add and subtract with it, however, consistency with it has been a trouble spot for him.
He’s acclimated well to the relief role with the Cards, and the sink on the fastball combined with the low release point are keeping the ball on the ground when he gives up contact. In 2016 at Triple-A Memphis, he generated a GO/AO ratio of 2.35 and was a particularly tough look for lefties, who hit just .172 off of him in 26 innings. His effectiveness against righties was suspect, with a .303 BAA and 4.20 ERA over 40.2 IP on the year.
But with some deception in the delivery and two average-or-better pitches, there could be enough in his profile to get a test with St. Louis as a situational lefty specialist next year. Since he’s not on the 40-man roster currently, he’ll be eligible for next month’s Rule 5 Draft. Should the Cardinals decide the 26-year-old reliever doesn’t fit into their big league plans for 2017 and leave him unprotected, expect other clubs to come sniffing around.