Today the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners announced a trade that sent right-handed relief pitcher to Seattle in exchange for two minor league pitchers. One of those pitchers was left-hander J.P. Sears.
Sears, 21, was drafted by the Mariners in the eleventh round of the 2017 draft out of The Citadel. 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.
Sears is a 5-foot 11-inch tall left-handed pitcher that has a fastball that barely touches 90 miles per hour. He relies heavily on deception that is generated by his low-three-quarters arm slot. He also effectively uses an average curveball and changeup to set up his fastball and get batters out.
In his pro career thus far, he has managed to rack up the strikeouts, averaging 1.8 strikeouts per inning.
The key to his success has been his competitiveness. He attacks the strike zone, pounding it with strikes. Rarely would you see him throw a ball outside the zone unless he wants to put it there. Batters have a tough time picking up the ball out of his hand, leaving them guessing at the plate.
Prior to the trade, Sears was the #21 prospect in the Mariners organization.