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Pick #44- Drew Ellis, 3B, Louisville

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With their second round selection, Arizona took the man that batted behind and hit more home runs than slugger Brendan McKay this season.

Not really making noise on the radar for Arizona for those not in the war room, Drew Ellis comes to Arizona as either the second or third-best third base prospect in this year’s draft.

Name: Drew Ellis

Age: 21 (December 1, 1995)

Height: 6’ 3”

Weight: 210 lbs.

Position: 3B (R/R)

Affiliation: Lousiville (sophmore)

Grades:

Power: 60 | Hit: 50/55 | Speed: 45 | Defense: 45 | Arm: 55/60 | Overall: 50

Scouting:

Ellis is a bat-first prospect by any estimation. Entering the College World Series Ellis led the Louisville Cardnials in batting average (.367), home runs (20), RBI (61), hits (81), runs (55), doubles (18), and slugging percentage (.729). His slugging percentage checks in at No. 7 nationally. As one might expect with these sorts of power numbers, Ellis can get a bit pull-happy from time-to-time. Still, Ellis fatures an above-average hit tool and plus raw power. He is also considered by most to be a very mature hitter at the plate, with a strong grasp of the zone and the ability to make pitchers throw him strikes to get him out. This approach allows Ellis to tap into his potential as a masher.

While he played quite a few games in left field his first year of play, he has settled in as a third baseman, sliding over to play first on days when fellow teammate Brendan McKay started. The thoughts on him defensively range from Mark Reynolds butcher to good enough to stick. His range at third is stretched to its max, most seem to agree on that. What is also agreed upon though is that he has decent hands and a strong throwing arm. WIth good hands and a strong arm, there are reasons to think he might be able to stick. Ellis eventually shifting to first is not out of the question, but with Goldschmidt and Smith ahead of him, it seems most likely that he plays third until he proves beyond a reasonable doubt that he cannot, or until Pavin Smith proves himself a capable, above average left fielder.

There does seem to be some speculation that Ellis could be a difficult sign as he has the leverage to go back to college two more times. However, as a night-one selection, it seems very unlikely that the Diamondbacks will have any trouble bringing him on-board. He could return to college and hope to be selected in the top-15 or so next season, but that would almost certainly require him improving defensively as well as hitting just as well or better. Given the team is losing Brendan McKay from in front of him, and he would likely shift over to first full-time for the Cardinals next year, those seem like tall orders. Signing now is probably his best option moving forward.