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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 93: Jake Elliott

After a two-year stop in Kannapolis, Big Red Jake is ready to move up in the system

Big Red: Elliott is an imposing Oklahoma product ready to move up into the upper tiers of the White Sox system.
Tiffany Wintz (@TiffW95)/South Side Sox

Jake Elliott
230 pounds
Throws: Right
Age: 24
SSS rank among all right-handed relief pitchers in the system: 15

After a solid first two years with the Oklahoma Sooners, Elliott picked an inopportune time to struggle. As a junior, Elliott posted a 6.02 ERA and 1.77 WHIP in 12 outings totaling 46 innings, relinquishing 58 hits (.320 OBA) and 24 walks while fanning just 30 batters. Strangely enough, he and teammate Alec Hansen both struggled badly that year with the Sooners, despite their large physical builds.

While Hansen fell to the second round, Elliott dropped all the way to the 15th round of the 2016 MLB draft as a result of his struggles. After receiving a $100,000 signing bonus, Elliott pitched for Great Falls and posted a respectable 4.30 ERA and 1.27 WHIP mostly in relief, allowing 39 hits (.273 OBA) and nine walks (5.7%) while striking out 45 (28.3%) in 37 2⁄3 innings.

Elliott spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons in the Kannapolis bullpen, and has done well enough to earn another promotion soon. In 2017, he posted a 2.29 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in 63 innings while allowing just 48 hits (.215 OBA) and 10 walks (4.1%) compared to 59 strikeouts (24.3%). In 2018, Elliott’s numbers fell ever so slightly, although his strikeout rate improved significantly: In 75 1⁄3 innings while posting a 2.99 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, he relinquished 57 hits (.211 OBA) and 22 walks (7.3%) while fanning 86 (28.4%).

Elliott has drawn some comps to Ryan Madson, with his imposing build. Elliott’s fastball peaks around 94-95 mph according to Baseball Draft Report, and he also features a upper-70s curveball and a plus changeup. It’s difficult to understand why Elliott hasn’t advanced more quickly in the White Sox system, but he should begin next season with Winston-Salem, with a potential additional move to Birmingham before season’s end if all goes well.

Take a look!

Video courtesy of 2080 Baseball.

2019 South Side Sox Top 100 Prospects

93. Jake Elliott, RHRP
94. Kevin Escorcia, LHRP
95. Luis Rodriguez, RHSP
96. Ian Dawkins, LF
97. Victor Diaz, RHRP
98. Travis Moniot, LF
99. Will Kincanon, RHRP
100. Brian Clark, LHRP