You’ll never forget your first major league baseball game, and for Gavin Sheets, he’ll never forget his June 29, 2021 start with the Chicago White Sox. For those that haven’t followed Sheets all that much, or might need a refresher, here is a cheat sheet on the rookie.
Sheets you say? Gavin Sheets is the son of Larry Sheets, an outfielder and designated hitter who played for the Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, and Seattle Mariners from 1984 to 1990 and 1993. While following in his father’s footsteps career-wise, Gavin Sheets has certainly made a name for himself on his own.
Sheets was originally selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 2014 Major League Baseball draft. Instead of signing with the Braves, Sheets enrolled at Wake Forest University to play college baseball for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. In 2016, he played collegiate summer baseball with the Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod Baseball League. In 2017, his junior season, Sheets was named All-Atlantic Coast Conference. He also played for the Baltimore Redbirds of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League.
The White Sox selected Sheets in the second round, with the 49th overall selection, in the 2017 Major League Baseball draft Sheets. He began his professional career with the Arizona White Sox and after only four games in Arizona, the White Sox promoted him to the Single-A Kannapolis Intimidators (now Cannon Ballers).
Sheets spent 2018 with the Winston-Salem Dash of the Class A-Advanced Carolina League. In 2019, Sheets was with the Double-A Birmingham Barons. He was selected to play in the Arizona Fall League for the Glendale Desert Dogs following the season.
Missing the 2020 Season
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sheets did not play in a game in 2020 and was not invited to participate at the White Sox alternate training site.
On November 20, 2020, Sheets was added to the 40-man roster. Sheets began the season with the Charlotte Knights. I discussed his time in Charlotte for the 2021 season, along with other breakout stars on the farm. The intent was to figure out who the White Sox could bring up if a trade option didn’t pan out.
Sheets was promoted to the major leagues for a second time on June 29, this time actually having the chance to play. On a big news day for the White Sox, the team released several statements. Sheets was recalled from Charlotte; Luis Robert has been medically cleared to increase his level of baseball activities at the Sox complex in AZ; Billy Hamilton was reinstated off the 10-Day IL; Luis González was optioned to Charlotte; and lastly, Jake Lamb was added to the 10-Day IL (retroactive to June 28) with a strained right quadriceps.
Prior to June 29, Sheets was batting .292/.352/.472 with seven homers, eight doubles, 33 RBI, and 23 runs scored over 41 games. The Charlotte Knights were able to move Sheets around, starting 26 games at first base, 15 in right field, and two in left.
Sheets had to say this prior to his Tuesday start: “A lot of hard work went in behind this,” Sheets said. “And it’s exciting to see it pay off, but more importantly, coming to help this team out. We’re still in the first place and playing a rival. It’s fun for that to be the first start.”
On June 29, Sheets Recorded his First Major League Hit off of Kenta Maeda of the Minnesota Twins for a single to left field. In his four at bats, Sheets had two hits, one run, two RBIs and an OPS of 1.250. A banner night for the young rookie on his major league debut.
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