BRISTOL - Being one of the Bristol Blues starting pitchers looked to be inevitable for Emmet Sheehan this summer. The Boston College-bound right-hander had to earn it first.
For Sheehan, this summer about preparing him to play in the ACC, and playing in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League was something Boston College wanted him to do in order to gain some necessary experience against higher level competition.
“Boston College had good connections with the Futures League,” Sheehan said. “I love the coaches. I’ve met them a few times and talk over the phone a lot. They know what they are doing and have me on a lifting plan. It’s really helping me out. They give great advice.”
When Sheehan arrived to Bristol in the beginning of June, he started out in the bullpen where he appeared in three games before making his first start on June 19.
“It was definitely an adjustment period,” Sheehan said. “I haven’t really been coming out of the bullpen until here [in Bristol]. In high school I was only a starter. The bullpen was new, but I definitely like starting.”
Overall, the Darien native has made two starts for the Blues, both of which ended in wins, and has given up just two runs (one earned). Between his time as a starter and out of the bullpen, Sheehan has appeared in six games, striking out 20 hitters in 17.1 innings to go along with a 2.07 ERA.
With his performance on the mound, Sheehan is settling in as a top starter for Bristol and a reliable arm for manager Ronnie Palmer to turn to in a big game.
“He’s got good stuff and good command,” Palmer said. “He’s going to be a rotation guy for us the rest of the summer.
Still, there’s plenty of work left for Sheehan as he is still untested against Division I competition. Sheehan can rely on the velocity of his fastball, but knows going forward his command isn’t as sharp with his offspeed pitches, something he’s looking to tinker with over the summer.
“I try to be effective with all my pitches but my breaking ball is a huge pitch to improve on,” Sheehan said.
And he’s hopeful Bristol and Boston College are just the first stops toward reaching his life-long goal.
“I think that’s the goal for most players at our level, to see how far they can go,” Sheehan said. “One of my main goals is to see if I can get drafted.”
Until then, opposing hitters have to watch out.