Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Sterling Sharp joins the list of former Eastern Michigan baseball alums in MLB after debuting with the Miami Marlins against the Baltimore Orioles.
It wasn’t a matter of if Sterling Sharp was going to make his Major League Baseball debut in 2020, it was only a matter of when.
On Wednesday night against the Baltimore Orioles, former Eastern Michigan University starting pitcher Sterling Sharp took the mound for the first time in a major league uniform for the Miami Marlins.
Because this is 2020 and everything about baseball is unconventional, Sharp technically pitched in a “home” game, despite the contest being played at Camden Yards in Baltimore as part of a seven-inning game doubleheader.
Sharp logged 1.2 shutout innings, allowing one hit and striking out one in his big league debut. The groundball specialist needed just 21 pitches to record those five out, recording three of his outs via, you guessed it, a groundball.
Originally a 22nd-round pick of the Washington Nationals, Sharp was not added to the 40-man roster of the defending World Series champions, leaving him vulnerable to last December’s Rule 5 draft. At the time, he was the 13th-ranked prospect in the Nationals farm system.
As one of the top ranked available players in the 2019 Rule 5 draft, Sharp was selected with the third pick by the Miami Marlins, meaning he must spend the 2020 season on the major league roster of the Marlins or be returned to the Nationals organization.
With the Marlins still recovering from a COVID-19 outbreak on opening weekend that left them unable to play for nearly weeks, Sharp will be a valuable asset to the Marlins pitching staff and will have the opportunity to showcase his dominant stuff as both a reliever and starter this season.
Sharp spent just one season in Ypsilanti, going 2-6 with a 4.63 ERA in 15 outings (eight starts) before transferring to Drury University to finish his collegiate career. His brother, Fred Sharp, also has ties to the MAC. Fred was a catcher for the Bowling Green Falcons from 2012-2013.
Sterling Sharp joins fellow former EMU pitcher Matt Shoemaker in the big leagues. With Shoemaker currently pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays and MLB implementing a limited travel schedule (American League East teams only play National League East teams and so on), there’s a chance we see both former Eagles battle each other on the mound at some point in 2020.
Congratulations to Sharp on his first of what is sure to be many successful major league outings in Miami.