Ellington Selected by Marlins in 16th Round of MLB Draft
Pitcher Marks Highest Pick in UWF Baseball History
MIAMI – Brian Ellington (Gainesville, Fla.) of the West Florida baseball team was selected by the Miami Marlins in the 16th round of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday, marking the highest draft pick in UWF baseball history. Ellington is the 18th player drafted in school history, and his selection also marks the fourth straight year an Argonaut has been drafted.
The previous highest pick for a West Florida baseball player was outfielder Dustin Lawley in 2011. Lawley was drafted by the New York Mets with the 582nd overall pick in the 19th round, while Ellington’s 16th round selection this year was the 497th overall.
"Brian has one of the best arms that have come through our program," said head coach Mike Jeffcoat. "He has a great fastball and a big-league quality breaking ball. His upside is huge, and playing professionally in the minors will give him time to develop without the immediate pressure of winning."
Ellington, a 6-4 right-hander, had an impressive first season with the Argonauts as a junior transfer in 2012. The All-Gulf South Conference second team selection was 6-3 with a 4.08 ERA, striking out 76 batters and walking 24 in 57.1 innings pitched. Ellington tallied 11.93 strikeouts per nine innings, a mark that led the conference and ranked third in UWF single season history.
Not including Ellington, there are nine former UWF baseball players currently active in professional baseball, including eight playing for affiliated minor league teams. Pitcher Kevin Johnson, a Pensacola native, has reached the highest level of those nine former Argonauts, seeing action this year with the Salt Lake Bees, a Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
"This is a positive for the program, being able to help our players get into pro ball," added Jeffcoat. "This shows that we're continuing to not only build a winning program, but one where players can move on to the next level. We're excited to continue that in the future, producing teams that win and players that have a chance to continue playing professionally."
For information on all UWF athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com.