Tom Eshelman was your selection as the #14 prospect in the Phillies’ organization.
Eshelman received 125 of 347 votes (36%). Luke Leftwich finished second (72, 21%), Dylan Cozens finished third (42, 12%), Darick Hall finished fourth (31, 9%) and Ranger Suarez finished fifth (24, 7%). Seventeen players split the remaining 77 votes.
Thomas Eshelman was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 2nd round of the 2015 MLB June Amateur Draft out of California State University at Fullerton, 46th overall. He signed a little under the slot value of $1.3257M.
Eshelman was noted for his extraordinary command and did not allow a walk in his first 63.1 college innings, and finished his first season with just 3 in 115.2 innings. In his draft year he was fourth best in the nation with 139 strike outs (in 137 IP) and walked 4 batters.
Eshelman was traded to the Phillies on December 12, 2015 with LHP Brett Oberholtzer, RHP Harold Arauz, RHP Mark Appel, and RHP Vince Velasquez for RHP Ken Giles and SS Jonathan Arauz.
Eshelman began the 2016 season in Clearwater. In 11 starts, he went 4-2 with a 3.34 ERA. He totaled 59.1 innings pitched, had a walk rate of 1.7 BB/9, and struck out rate of 8.1 K/9. He had a 1.16 WHIP, but had given up 7 home runs (1.1 HR/9). Known as a command pitcher in college, Eshelman threw strikes on 67.2% of his pitches and never threw less than 63% in a game.
Promoted to Reading in June, Eshelman struggled a little in 13 starts. He went 5-5 with a 5.14 ERA. He pitched 61.1 innings and saw his walk rate rise to 2.5 BB/9 and his K/9 dip to 8.1. His WHIP rocketed to 1.57 but he cut his HR/9 almost in half to 0.6. However, he maintained his command. In the 11 games for which they kept stats, Eshelman threw 66.7% strikes. He slipped below 60% twice, but was over 70% five times.
Eshelman made two trips to the DL while with Reading for turf toe and appendicitis.
Eshelman began 2017 in Reading and after posting a 3-0 record and 3.10 ERA in 5 starts, he was promoted to Lehigh Valley. In 29.0 AA innings, Eshelman gave up 6 HR but had a WHIP of 1.103, 1.6 BB/9, and 6.8 K/9.
In Lehigh Valley, Eshelman was superb. In 18 starts he pitched 121.0 innings, posted a 10-3 record, and a 2.23 ERA. He limited the opposition to 0.6 HR/9 and 1.0 BB/9. He also recorded his lowest strike out rate, 6.0 K/9.
Eshelman will surely get an invitation to the major league camp. He should have an opportunity to pitch his way into the Phillies starting rotation or perhaps first alternate.
Today’s vote had the highest number of participants of any poll so far this year. I guess a lot of you were waiting for the latest group of players to be added to the poll. The second place finisher probably benefited from the large number of votes that came in from California and South Carolina. Luke Leftwich pitched well until his call up to Clearwater in the second half of 2016 when he posted a 5.07 ERA in 11 starts. He rebounded a little in 2017 after being converted to a reliever. He posted a 2.70 ERA in 42 games, but had a 1-6 record and only 8 saves in 14 opportunities. His BB/9 (2.4) and K/(11.0) were good.
This reminds me of the “ballot stuffing” incidents we had last year. Unless I see evidence in the comments section that support such remarkable selections in upcoming polls (HA is being added in the next poll), I will probably invalidate that portion of a poll. This is a fun exercise to identify and rank the top prospects in the organization. It is not for family and friends to hijack the poll from regular readers and participants of this site. Let me know via e-mail if this is a reasonable way to handle occurrences such as these.
Next up is your selection for the #15 prospect in the organization with no new players added to the poll.
2018 Readers’ Poll, so far –
- Sixto Sanchez
- Scott Kingery
- J.P. Crawford
- Jhailyn Ortiz
- Jorge Alfaro
- Adam Haseley
- Adonis Medina
- Franklyn Kilome
- Mickey Moniak
- JoJo Romero
- Roman Quinn
- Enyel De Los Santos
- Cornelius Randolph
- Tom Eshelman