Drake Fellows has been an incredibly successful pitcher throughout his baseball career.
And the San Diego Padres are hoping that the 2016 Joliet Catholic graduate’s success can translate to the professional ranks as they made him a sixth-round selection (173rd overall) in Tuesday’s stage of the MLB draft.
Baseball America’s Jim Callis said of Fellows on the mlb.com draft broadcast, “Known more for his polish in the past, Fellows is blowing away hitters and is sitting in the low 90s and topping out at 95 mph with a sinker. He’ll need to regain his previous command to reach his ceiling as a No. 4 starter, but teams do value his competitiveness and long track record of success in the Southeastern Conference.”
Fellows is in the midst of a 12-0 season as a junior at Vanderbilt University, where he has served as the Commodores starter Friday night, and staff ace for the past two seasons. He likely will be the starting pitcher in the opening game of Vanderbilt’s series of games with Duke in the NCAA super regionals. A win by Vanderbilt in that best-of-three series would send Fellows and the Commodores into the College World Series.
Fellows’ last start was against Ohio State in the regionals. He went the distance, striking out nine in the Commodores’ 8-2 victory.
The draft-pick bonus compensation for a player selected where Fellows went is estimated to be worth between $250,000 and $300,000. Fellows, as a junior, also reserves the right to return to school for his senior year if he doesn’t come to terms with San Diego.
His high school coach, Jared Voss, had a feeling that this day might come.
“It’s kind of hard to describe, but even when Drake was in high school, he always kind of carried himself in a professional manner,” Voss said. “Even on the field, when he was 17 years old, he never got mad, he never got upset, he always had a very workman like approach to everything he did. His consistency has always been remarkable.”
Twins take Reed-Custer’s Headrick
Reed-Custer graduate Brent Headrick, now at Illinois State, was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the ninth round with the 269th overall pick.
Headrick, a 6-foot-6 left-hander, led Illinois State with nine pitching victories, going 9-3 overall with a 3.47 ERA in 16 starts.
He struck out 115 batters in 96 innings in his junior season. As a junior, Headrick also has the right to return to school and re-enter the draft next year.
Headrick played a large role in Reed-Custer’s Class 2A state championship in 2016.