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T.J. Sikkema

#21 | LHP | RoyalsKC
Northwest Arkansas Naturals Northwest Arkansas Naturals
T.J. Sikkema
Name: Tyler James Sikkema
Born: Jul 25, 1998 in DeWitt, IA
High School: Central DeWitt HS, DeWitt, Iowa
College: Missouri
Ht.: 6'0" / Wt.: 221 lbs
Bats: L / Throws: L
Drafted in the supplemental 1st round (38th overall) by the New York Yankees in 2019 (signed for $1,949,800)
In a year in which it’s hard to find pitchers scouts like, Sikkema is one pitcher scouts truly love. They love his feisty mound presence, his feel for pitching and his craftiness. And they also love his long, illustrious track record. The son of a baseball coach, Sikkema was Missouri’s moment-of-truth reliever as a freshman, when he tied Tanner Houck’s school freshman record with eight wins. Midway through his sophomore season, Sikkema moved from being the Tigers’ closer to taking over as the Friday night starter and excelled immediately. As a junior, he’s been consistently dominant as the club’s Saturday starter, going 6-3, 1.22 with an .180 opponent average as of early May. Sikkema is a thick-bodied pitcher without much, or any, projection left. He uses both an over-the-top arm slot as well as a three-quarter slot, switching back and forth to mess with hitters. He can reach up to 93-95 mph with his fastball when he raises his arm slot in short stints, but he generally sits 89-92 mph as a starter with plenty of arm-side run from the lower slot. He mixes four pitches, none of which is a plus offering, but all four are average or better. He throws an above-average slurve from his lower arm slot that has some power and depth and a more traditional, average curveball from over the top. He willingly mixes in an average changeup as well. All of his offerings play up because Sikkema fills the zone with strikes to both sides of the plate. If a team wants to move Sikkema back to the bullpen, he could move quickly. But he has likely worked his way high enough in the draft to get sent out as a starter, where a team would count on his feel and bulldog mentality to make up for any deficiencies in his pure stuff.
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