Thomas Eshelman was selected the Readers’ Poll 19th prospect. He received 80 of 409 votes (19.6%). It was a close race with Malquin Canelo (63), Ben Lively (51), and Nick Pivetta (46), each receiving over 11% of the votes cast. All but two of the players listed on the poll received at least one vote (Garcia and Paulino). Five write-in votes were cast (K. Martin, Z. Green, Moore, Walding, and Domonic Brown?).
The Phillies acquired Eshelman from the Astros as part of the Ken Giles trade. The trade was Matt Klentak’s first big move since taking over as the Phillies General Manager. Giles and promising, young shortstop Jonathan Arauz were sent to Houston in exchange for Eshelman, fellow RHPs Vincent Velasquez, Mark Appel, Harold Arauz, and LHP Brett Oberholtzer.
Eshelman went undrafted in 2014, but was selected after his junior year by the Astros in the second round of the 2015 Amateur Draft, 46th overall. He pitched his collegiate ball at Cal State Fullerton. Eshelman signed on July 1, 2015 and made his debut in the GCL on August 10th. He was promoted to Full Season A ball on August 11th. He is expected to be in the starting rotation in Clearwater this summer. He made 2 starts at each level and pitched a total of 10.1 innings, a very small sample.
Eshelman displayed extraordinary command at Cal State. He began his collegiate career by working 63.1 innings before issuing a walk. He finished the season with 3 walks in 115.2 innings. In 2015, Eshelman went 8-5, posted a 1.58 ERA, with 139 K (4th in the country), and 4 BB (19.86 K/BB, best in country for third consecutive year). He was profiled in Sports Illustrated in May of 2015.
Top 30 so far:
- N. Williams
- “C” Randolph
Next up is your selection for #20.