Sears, 21, was drafted by the Mariners in the eleventh round of the 2017 draft out of The Citadel and acquired by the Yankees on November 18, 2017, with Juan Then for reliever Nick Rumbelow. Before the trade, Sears was the #21 prospect in the Mariners organization.
Sears pitched for The Citadel for three seasons where he was 17-15 with a 2.98 ERA and 317 strikeouts in 253 innings. Out of the 46 games, he played in college; he started 42 of them.
After turning pro this year, he appeared in 17 games between the Everett Aquasox and the Clinton Lumberkings. All 17 of the games were out of the bullpen. In total, he struck out 51 batters in 28 innings pitched. In his pro career thus far, he has managed to rack up the strikeouts, averaging 1.8 strikeouts per inning.
JP is a 5-foot 11-inch left-handed pitcher that has a fastball that reaches the low 90 miles per hour range. He relies heavily on deception that is generated by his low-three-quarters arm slot. Sears also efficiently uses an average curveball and changeup to set up his fastball and get batters out.
Expect the 21-year old to make a return to Charleston, SC, this time pitching with the RiverDogs (Single-A). If all goes well with his health, accuracy, and effectiveness, you can count on Sears moving up to spend a good chunk of time with Tampa Tarpons (Single-A – Advanced). How quickly does he get there? I would say mid-way through the season.