School: Cal State Fullerton; Class: Junior
Position: RHP; B/T: R/R
Height: 6-3; Weight: 210
Previously Drafted: N/A
Background: One of the most – if not the most – interesting collegiate prospects not only in this year’s class, but in recent memory. He’s a freak of sorts, a modern day Greg Maddux. He’s a free-pass despising, get-off-my-lawn-type neighbor who absolutely abhors the walk – no matter what form is comings in.
Eshelman, who stands a solid 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, has walked 17 hitters. In. His. Career. It’s a mark that spans, as of May 11th, 336 innings. And for those keeping track at home, that’s a barely-there, Honey-I-Shrunk-The-Kids walk rate of just 0.46 BB/9.
His career strikeout-to-walk rate stands at a videogame-esque 277-to-17, or 16.3 punch outs for every one walk.
Throughout his illustrious – and underrated – collegiate career Eshelman has been named as:
- 2013 Golden Spikes Award Semifinalist
- 2013 Big West Pitcher of the Year
- 2013 ABCA/Rawlings West Region First Team
- 2013 NCBWA Freshman All-American
- 2013 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American
- 2013 Baseball America Freshman All-American
- 2013 ABCA/Rawlings Second Team All-American
- 2013 NCBWA Second Team All-American
- 2013 Baseball American First Team All-American
- 2013 Louisville Slugger First Team All-American
- 2013 NCBWA Freshman Pitcher of the Year
- 2014 Big West Conference Honorable Mention
- 2014 NCBWA Third Team All-American
- 2014 Baseball America Second Team All-American
Eshelman also starred for Team USA in 2014, where he pitched 21.0 innings with 20 punch outs and just two walks.
Projection: He’s not overpowering, so he’ll likely get overlooked by some of the bigger arms in the class (Walker Buehler, Dillon Tate, Phil Bickford, Carson Fulmer, Kyle Funkhouser, Michael Matuella), but Eshelman is a safe, fast-moving back-of-the-rotation caliber arm that could easily be in the big leagues in within a season-plus of the draft.
Something to watch when he does make his pro debut: groundball totals. If Eshelman proves to be an above-average worm-burner, watch out.
In terms of big league comparison, think Cincinnati’s Mike Leake.
Ceiling: 2.0-win player
Floor: 1.0-win player
Grade: Late Round/Early Second Round
Photo Courtesy of Matt Brown via utsandiego.com.