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White Sox take LHP Fraser Ellard in the Eighth Round (245th overall)

The South Siders took another chance on a lefty in the eighth round

The South Siders haven’t been shy with drafting pitchers on Day 2.

As the 2021 MLB Draft rolls along, teams are desperately searching for upside plays in these early rounds. That’s exactly what the Chicago White Sox did by taking Fraser Ellard in the eighth round.

A fifth-year senior, Fraser Ellard turned himself into an eighth-round pick after a very good 2021 season with the Liberty Flames. In 2021, the 6´4´´ lefty posted a 3.65 ERA in 44 13 innings, with 63 strikeouts to 13 walks and seven saves.

Out of Roswell, Georgia, the White Sox are hoping they’ve found a big left-handed arm for their future bullpen. I couldn’t find any particulars on his pitch mix and speeds, but here is what looks like a pretty wicked 83 mph slider.

From the video, you can tell he has a pretty deceptive delivery with how he hides the baseball. That should make him really tough against lefties at the next level. Obviously, with the three-batter minimum, he’s going to have to prove he can retire both lefties and righties.

Before this past season at Liberty, he spent four years at Lander University in Greenwood, S.C. I couldn’t find any stats on him as a freshman, and he only pitched two innings as a sophomore (it didn’t go well).

As a junior in 2019, he posted a 6.23 ERA in 21 23 innings with 30 strikeouts and a save. His big issue was walking batters, with 15. In the shortened 2020 season, Ellard finally put it together, with a 1.38 ERA in 26 innings with 28 strikeouts. However, walks were still a problem with 14.

Lander used him mostly as a starter in the 2020 season, with three starts and one relief appearance.

Overall, Ellard seems like a lefty with a funky delivery who can rack up the strikeouts but struggles with command. If he can figure out that command, the White Sox could have a pretty effective late-inning reliever from the left side.