The Futures League


Former New Britain Bee Sheehan, 15th Futures Leaguer in MLB, Dominates in Dodgers Debut

Jon SooHoo

WEYMOUTH, Mass. (June 19, 2023) -- Former Boston College pitcher Emmet Sheehan became the 15th Futures League alumnus to reach Major League Baseball (MLB) when he debuted with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night.

Sheehan is the third product of the league to climb to the MLB level so far in 2023, which is already halfway to the league-record total that was set last season. 

The native of Darien, Conn., was a member of the New Britain Bees’ inaugural Futures League team in 2020 after getting his first taste of college baseball with the Bristol Blues two summers earlier. He is the first alumnus to reach “The Show” from either organization, meaning that now 10 Futures League clubs (current or former) have developed a MLB player. 

Sheehan, a sixth-round draft pick in 2021 who currently is the No. 13 prospect in the Dodgers organization according to MLB Pipeline, dominated in his first MLB start. He became only the third pitcher in history to fire at least six no-hit innings in his big league debut, walking just two and striking out three San Francisco Giants before leaving with a 4-0 lead. After Sheehan exited, the Giants scored seven runs over the next five innings and won the game 7-5 in 11 innings at Dodger Stadium.

Sheehan had not pitched above the Double-A level before getting the call to Los Angeles and making his first start in Dodger blue last week. He had compiled a 4-1 record and 1.86 ERA in 53.1 innings over 12 appearances (10 starts) for the Tulsa Drillers. He was the Texas League leader in ERA, strikeouts (88), batting average against (.131) and WHIP (0.88) at the time of his call, while allowing just one earned run in 24.2 innings earned him May Pitcher of the Month honors in the circuit.

After asserting himself into BC’s starting rotation and earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors in 2021, Sheehan was drafted by the Dodgers in the sixth round and climbed to the High-A level with the Great Lakes Loons by the end of that summer. He went 7-2 for Great Lakes before earning a late-season promotion to Tulsa in 2022. Overall since 2021, he is 14-3 with a 2.76 ERA and 228 strikeouts in 137 career minor league innings.

Sheehan’s time in the Futures League began before he even set foot on the Heights, as he posted a 4.83 ERA in 10 games for Bristol back in 2018. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound right-hander had just graduated from the Salisbury School before joining the Blues. He recorded 39 strikeouts in 31.2 innings with Bristol that summer, earning a spot in the 2018 Futures League All-Star Game at Historic Holman Stadium in Nashua, N.H., alongside BC classmates and fellow 2021 draft picks Sal Frelick and Cody Morissette. 

With no other leagues playing during the COVID-impacted summer of 2020, Sheehan and those aforementioned Eagles returned to the Futures. The Connecticut native joined his home state’s Bees and logged 34 strikeouts in 18.2 innings, which helped to set him up for an impressive draft year at BC. 

Sheehan is the third-ever Futures League alum from BC to play in the big leagues and the sixth Eagle to reach the highest level under current head coach Mike Gambino. Former Wachusett Dirt Dawgs infielder Jake Alu debuted for the Washington Nationals on May 9, while 2012 Top Pro Prospect Chris Shaw finished his climb from the Nashua Silver Knights to the San Francisco Giants in 2018. Shaw has returned to affiliated ball in the Chicago White Sox organization this season.

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