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Ellis selection continues trend of taking pitchers

Right-hander went 10-1 in regular season while pitching for Ole Miss

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ANAHEIM -- The Angels' went with yet another pitcher for their third selection of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft on Friday, taking Chris Ellis out of the University of Mississippi.

Ellis, taken with the 88th overall selection, is a 6-foot-5, 205-pound right-hander who saw his stock skyrocket during his junior year at Ole Miss.

After primarily being off the radar out of high school in Alabama -- ultimately getting taken in the 50th round by the Dodgers in 2011 -- and spending his first two collegiate years primarily out of the bullpen, Ellis finally got a chance to be a full-time starter in 2014 and ran with it.

Ellis went 10-1 with a 2.16 ERA in what the Angels hope was his final season in college, striking out 62 batters and walking 32 in 104 2/3 innings -- after posting a 5.57 ERA in 21 innings as a sophomore. He twirled two shutouts and two complete games, and allowed one earned run or less in eight of his first 16 starts.

On Saturday, Ellis will take the ball against Louisiana-Lafayette in the opener of the Super Regional.

Prior to Ellis, the Angels took University of Hartford left-hander Sean Newcomb 15th overall and St. Augustine Prep right-hander Joe Gatto 53rd overall in the second round. In 2013, the organization -- ranked last in the Majors by Baseball America the last two years, and in desperate need of high-upside starting pitching -- took an arm with 10 of its first 11 picks.

Ellis is mostly 92-94 mph with his fastball, with a still-developing curveball and changeup. He was one of 21 semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award, annually presented to the best collegiate player.

The Draft concludes with Rounds 11-40 on Saturday. Exclusive coverage of Saturday's Draft starts at 10 a.m. PT on MLB.com.

"Just a constant strike thrower," Angels scouting director Ric Wilson said. "Average curveball and change, but can pitch to both sides of the plate, change speeds. Just a polished-type pitcher that doesn't have overwhelming stuff, but you look up and he's in the eighth inning somehow. Very poised, very confident guy."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"event":["draft_central" ,"prospect" ] }
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