Gerald Herbert/Associated Press
Chris Ellis, RHP, Mississippi
Drafted: Los Angeles Angels (Third round, No. 88 overall)
2014 Stats (17 starts): 10-2, 106.2 IP, 2.45 ERA, .259 BAA, 35 BB (3.0 BB/9), 64 K (5.4 K/9)
A 6’5”, 205-pound right-hander, Chris Ellis spent his first two years at Mississippi primarily as a reliever, making just three starts and logging 52.2 total innings. He moved into the rotation this spring, where he’s shown the durability to turn over a lineup multiple times and keep hitters off balance with three average-or-better offerings—both of which played an important part in the Angels decision to draft him in the third round.
Yet, despite his overall success and effectiveness, Ellis’ struggles to regularly miss bats this season stems from his lack of a dominant pitch, and it’s hard to see him becoming anything more than a No. 4 or 5 starter without one.
Ellis, like Beede, has already shown both sides of the spectrum in the playoffs, as the 21-year-old right-hander fired a complete game with two earned runs and eight strikeouts to clinch the regional title, only to follow it with four earned runs on one hit and three walks in 2.1 innings against Louisiana-Lafayette in the super-regional opener.
Andrew Morales, RHP, UC Irvine
Drafted: St. Louis Cardinals (Second round, No. 71 overall)
2014 Stats (18 starts): 11-2, 129.2 IP, 1.53 ERA, .182 BAA, 30 BB (2.1 BB/9), 136 K (9.4 K/9)
Right-hander Andrew Morales, a second-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals, was named the Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year this season after posting a 1.53 ERA and 136/30 K/BB in 129.2 innings.
Unsurprisingly, Morales has continued to pitch like an ace for the UC Irvine this postseason, winning two of his three starts while registering a 1.33 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 20.1 innings. In his latest outing, Morales shut out top-seeded Oklahoma State in complete-game victory, his third of the year, to punch UC Irvine’s ticket to Omaha.