Although he won’t be one of the players selected in the 2014 MLB Draft come June, Thomas Eshelman is making his case to be considered a first-round selection in 2015.
The Friday night starter the past two seasons for Cal State Fullerton, Eshleman stands 6”3 and weighs in at 210 pounds.
In his freshman season at Fullerton, Eshelman put up a 12-3 record with a 1.48 ERA.
He set a Cal State Fullerton record for freshman innings pitched (115.2) and ERA, while also leading the country in strikeout-to-walk ratio (27.67).
Eshelman was named the 2013 NCWBA Freshman Pitcher of the Year, a NCWBA Freshman All-American, and a NCWBA Second Team All-American.
He played his summer ball for the Klamath Falls Gems of the West Coast League, where he finished 5-0 in 29 and 1/3 innings pitched.
This year, Eshelman is once again the Friday night starter for the Titans, as they compete for a trip to Omaha.
So far, Eshelman has compiled a 2-0 record in three starts. He has a 2.05 ERA and batters are hitting just .176 against him through 22.0 innings pitched.
Once again his strikeout-to-walk ratio looks impressive, thanks to 20 strikeouts compared to just one walk.
There was an opportunity to watch Eshelman last Friday against Oregon, where he picked up the victory in a 9-2 win
Through eight innings, Eshelman only allowed two hits while walking one. He had seven strikeouts.
He controlled the Oregon bats, as it was routine fly-out after ground-ball, with no solid contact to speak of.
Two innings in particular were impressive, as Eshelman came to the mound after Fullerton gave him the lead.
In the bottom of the third, with the Titans leading 1-0, Eshelman retired the seventh hitter in the lineup on just two pitches. He then put away the eighth place hitter on five pitches. Followed by a one pitch failed-bunt of the ninth place hitter.
Fullerton then scored five runs in the top of the fourth, as the bats were right back to work with no delay.
Once again Eshelman returned to the mound in the bottom of the fourth and took the punch right out of the Oregon bats.
He struck-out the leadoff hitter, before allowing his first hit of the game to talented freshman Austin Grebeck. He then struck-out the third place hitter and retired the fourth hitter on a weak groundout to first base.
Eshelman’s ability to control the tempo of the game is an asset, as the righty will not blow hitters away with overpowering stuff.
His fastball ranges from 88-86 mph, but he utilizes both a solid changeup and curveball that always seem to be inching over one corner of the plate.
He has a brief pause in his windup reminiscent of Garret Cole, but otherwise clean and smooth mechanics.
You can see video of Thomas Eshelman against Oregon on Febuary 28th below: