School: Louisville; Class: Junior
Position: 1B/3B; B/T: R/R
Height: 6-3; Weight: 210
Previously Drafted: N/A
Background: In a season in which so many supposed top picks have failed to take an expected step forward with their offensive production – Florida shortstop Dalton Guthrie, TCU backstop Evan Skoug struggled out of the gate, Lipscomb outfielder Michael Gigliotii, and Florida State infielder Taylor Walls – Ellis, a redshirt sophomore, has vaulted up among the most promising bats in this year’s draft class.
Ellis, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound corner infielder from Jefferson, Indiana, made just 117 trips to the plate for the collegiate powerhouse two years ago, batting a solid – and overlooked – .309/.426/.468 with six doubles and three homeruns with a 15-to-17 strikeout-to-walk ratio – which proved to be just a harbinger of things to come.
Ellis ripped through the opposition this season, torching pitchers to the tune of .376/.467/.718 with 18 doubles, one triple, 17 homeruns, and six stolen bases (in just six attempts). He also finished the season with an impressive 36-to-35 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
For his brief career, he’s sporting an impressive .355/.454/.645 triple-slash line, with 24 doubles, one triple, 20 homeruns, and nine stolen bases. His career strikeout-to-walk ratio: 51-to-52.
Projection: Very, very little information to go off – especially considering that in two separate summers leagues, the Coastal Plain and Northwoods, he’s struggled mightily. But dominant production is dominant production. And Ellis has been dominant this season. Just how dominant?
Consider the following:
- Between 2011 and 2016, only six Division I hitters have batted at least .375/.460/.700 with a strikeout rate below 14.5% and a walk rate north of 13.5%: Andrew Benintendi, Hunter Dozier, D.J. Peterson, Trenton Moses, Jason Krizan, and – of course – Drew Ellis.
Ellis shows impressive power at a run-producing position: he’s slugged 45 extra-base hits in just 367 total plate appearances. His plate discipline is impeccable. And despite a bigger frame, he’s shown some sneaky speed. His lack of a track record is concerning, which will likely cause him to slip in the draft a few spots, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see his name called in the middle of the first round either.
Ceiling: 3.0-win player
Floor: 1.0-win player
Risk: Moderate to High
Grade: First Round