Current Joliet Catholic Academy senior baseball player Drake Fellows recently participated in USA Baseball’s Tournament of Stars (TOS) presented by Major League Baseball in Cary, North Carolina at the USA Baseball Training Complex from June 22-28. TOS is made up of 108 of the nation’s best ballplayers that are international age-eligible for 18U National Team consideration (born in 1997 or 1998). USA Baseball and Major League Baseball cover all costs associated with the event which includes players’ travel, lodging (USA Baseball Host Family Program) and uniforms. TOS participants form the primary pool of talent from which USA Baseball will select its 18U National Team to represent our country at the 2015 WBSC 18U World Cup later this summer.
Fellows made two appearances at the tournament, striking out four in five innings while walking two. He joins Nick Dalesandro ‘15 as Hilltoppers who have participated in the event.
Alumni of the 18U National Team include recently elected Hall of Famer John Smoltz (Atlanta Braves) as well as No. 1 overall picks in the MLB First-Year Player Draft: Joe Mauer (2001), Delmon Young (2003), Justin Upton (2005), Luke Hochevar (2006) and Bryce Harper (2010).
Fellows, who has committed to playing his collegiate baseball at 2014 College World Series runner-up Vanderbilt, is a hard throwing right-handed pitcher capable of reaching the low-to-mid 90 mph range with his fastball.
After a dominant sophomore campaign, JCA’s ace right-hander did more of the same in the spring of 2015 for the Hilltoppers, going 9-1 with one save, and a 0.58 ERA. He allowed only 44 hits in 73 innings pitched, with a 98-to-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His only loss on the year came in the regional finals to Lemont, a 2-1 nine-inning affair where he allowed only one earned run in an outstanding complete game effort. For his efforts Fellows was named the 2015 ESCC Pitcher of the Year.
Fellows will also participate in the Perfect Game USA All-American Classic at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, later this summer on Sunday, August 16. The game will be televised live on MLB Networks, and will include over 40 of the nation’s top 2016 graduate baseball prospects. 165 PG All-Americans have gone on to become MLB First-Round draft picks.