First-team All-ASUN relief pitcher Fraser Ellard was the first Liberty baseball player selected of the 2021 Major League Draft on Monday, and his teammate, second baseman Will Wagner, was also selected before the draft concluded.
Ellard was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the eighth round with the No. 245 overall pick. The senior lefthander was 0-1 with a 3.65 ERA in 26 appearances in 2021 to go along with a team-high seven saves. He posted 63 strikeouts in 44.1 innings pitched while making just one start on the season and serving as Liberty’s top late inning reliever. His slot value is $167,800.
Ellard is the fourth Liberty baseball player to be drafted by the White Sox and the first since Trey Wimmer was taken by Chicago’s team from the south-side in 2013. Ryan Cordell made his Major League debut with the White Sox in 2018.
Wagner was selected by the Houston Astros with the No. 538 overall pick in the 18th round. The junior infielder has one more season of eligibility remaining if he elected to return to Liberty. His dad, Billy Wagner, had a 16-year major league career where he played for Houston, Philadelphia, the New York Mets, Boston and Atlanta.
This past season for the Flames, Wagner had a .333 batting average while starting in 53 games at second base. He finished the season with 32 runs, 16 doubles, and seven home runs.
Ellard and Wagner helped the Flames to one of the program’s best seasons in school history, earning an at large bid to the NCAA Tournament and defeating Duke twice in the Knoxville Regional of the NCAA Tournament to advance to the regional final.
The Flames have had at least one player chosen in each draft since 2000, except last year’s draft which was limited to just five rounds due to COVID-19.