With their fifteenth round selection (#457 overall) in the 2018 MLB Draft, the New York Yankees have taken College Right-Handed Pitcher Nick Ernst. He is a redshirt junior at Miami University (OH).
According to collegebaseballcentral.com, Nick Ernst tore his UCL in his pitching arm during his second start of the season. As the team’s Friday night starter, a lot was expected from this player:
“Most teams would struggle after losing their Friday night starter two weeks into the season. Not only does that mean you’ve lost what is typically the best starting pitcher on the roster, but it also means that everyone else on the staff has to slide down a spot, which hurts your depth.
Miami (25-15, 11-7) was in that position after the second weekend of the season, when Nick Ernst went down with a torn UCL. That was after, mind you, Ernst began his season by throwing six innings against Arizona State, giving up just four hits and one run with no walks and six strikeouts in a 4-2 win that gave the Redhawks their first opening day win since 2007.”
After the injury diagnosis, Tommy John surgery was performed during this college season. Even with this current injury, Baseball America listed Ernst as the 12th best prospect out of Ohio. It is possible Ernst heads back to college, but he does have an interesting fastball (low to mid 90s) and slider combination:
“Nick Ernst looked like he was on his way to a breakout junior season as he shut down Arizona State in Miami’s season opener, but he left his next start with an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. Ernst could head back to the Redhawks for his senior season, but he could still be drafted by a team intrigued by his 90-94 mph fastball and promising slider.”
This was to be Ernst’s first season as a college starter, appearing almost solely out of the bullpen his freshman and sophomore years. Ernst is not the typical righty college pitcher the Yankees have been taking in recent drafts, as he does not throw overly hard, and does not have insane K/9 rates. Command appears to be this prospects main issue, having 11 wild pitches and 7 hit batters each of the 2016 and 2017 season. Even with these struggles, Ernst pitched to a 3-2 record with a 2.63 ERA in 20 appearances in 2017. Enrst also had 4 saves, with a Batting Average Against of .216.