Ohio State baseball has its first draftee of 2018. Junior starting pitcher Ryan Feltner was selected in the fourth round by the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday. The 126th pick overall in the draft, Feltner is looking at a slot value of $434,700.
Considered one of the top prospects in the Big Ten entering this season, the Hudson, Ohio native battled early inconsistency to finish the year strong. Overall, Feltner posted a 5-5 record with a 4.52 earned run average. In a team-high 91.2 innings, he struck out 86, walked 44, and surrendered a .276 batting average against.
When the Buckeyes needed Feltner the most, though, he performed, putting up two quality performances in the postseason. In an elimination game during the Big Ten tournament in Omaha, he blanked Iowa for six innings, and in the NCAA tournament tossed six innings of two-run ball against UNC Wilmington.
Feltner was previously drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 25th round of the 2015 MLB draft after having been named the Ohio Gatorade State Player of the Year. He opted to postpone pro ball, though, and through his first two seasons in Columbus had made 37 appearances, including 18 starts. Mixed results stemmed from command issues, as he learned to harness the fire in his arm.
The big right-hander began to do just that last summer in the Cape Cod League, the most prestigious college summer league in the country. Serving as the closer for the Bourne Braves, Feltner tallied a league-high eight saves while not allowing an earned run in 15.1 innings of work.
Feltner’s season in the Cape helped to raise his draft stock, though evaluators think his stuff will play better out of the bullpen as a pro. MLB Pipeline writes:
While Feltner generates premium starter velocity without much effort, hitters see the ball well against him and don’t miss his fastball as much as would be expected. His control and command lack consistency, which also makes him vulnerable. The consensus is that he’s best suited for a relief role as a pro, and he could have a plus-plus heater in shorter stints.
Time will tell what the Rockies intend for the Walsh Jesuit High School product’s development, and whether his future resides in the bullpen or not. For now, though, we here at Land-Grant Holy Land wish Feltner the best as he moves on to the next level, and hope to see him in The Show someday.