Ethan Elliott Makes The Most Of His Opportunity
Coming out of Division II Lincoln Memorial in Tennessee, Ethan Elliott received a modest $10,000 signing bonus. Even he admits it would have been difficult to expect much more.
After all, the 6-foot-3, 180-pound lefthander wasn’t on anyone’s radar until a standout effort in an exhibition game against Team USA in a summer wood bat league. His fastball topped out at 91 mph. He was happy his phone rang at all, let alone getting picked in the 10th round in 2019.
“I can’t say I was expecting to go anywhere,” Elliott said. “I mean for a senior sign, you’re just hoping for an opportunity. You don’t really care what round it is.”
On the other side of a season lost to the coronavirus pandemic, the 24-year-old is making the most of his opportunity.
He was named the High-A Central pitcher of the month in May. Through 11 starts for Fort Wayne he had recorded a 3.12 ERA to go with 67 strikeouts and 12 walks in 52 innings.
That effort includes an immaculate inning to close his first start of the season and striking out 13 without a single walk over six shutout innings of one-hit ball in his third start.
Elliott has always possessed strong command, walking just 73 batters while setting Lincoln Memorial’s strikeout record with 402 in 358.1 innings. He put up a 38-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 35.2 innings at short-season Tri-City in 2019 before working out on his own during the pandemic.
He showed enough at instructional league last fall to receive his first invitation to big league camp. The slider he’s continuing to hone under the tutelage of Fort Wayne pitching coach Jimmy Jones was a talking point while sharing a clubhouse with the likes of Blake Snell.
“With all the veteran guys we’ve got on this team, it was really cool just to watch and see how these guys operated on a daily basis," Elliott said.
— A blister sidelined lefthander MacKenzie Gore for nearly three weeks early this season. With a 5.85 ERA and 18 strikeouts against 12 walks in his first 20 innings at Triple-A El Paso, the 22-year-old Gore returned to Arizona to both fully resolve his blister and continue working on his delivery away from competition.
— Outfielder Jack Suwinski set a new career high with his 13th homer on June 24 with Double-A San Antonio. He was hitting .259/.366/.569 in 51 games with the Missions after hitting 12 homers in 116 games at High-A in 2019.