411 on the Forty — Part One: Baseball pitcher enters transfer portal

By Riley Zayas
Part 1: Baseball pitcher enters transfer portal
Part 2: women’s tennis recruiting class ranked first
Part 3: Get to know Celeste Taylor
Part 4: Longhorns speak out

Baseball loses a pitcher to the Transfer Portal, three seniors have chances at the MLB Draft

Texas baseball lost its second pitcher following the abbreviated 2020 season when reliever Owen Meaney announced Monday that he intends to transfer. Meaney, who came to the Forty Acres from Houston in 2019 did not get much opportunity to prove himself on the mound over the past two seasons. He was 0-2 with a 4.24 earned run average in three starts and nine total outings.

Where Meaney will land remains unclear, but with the NCAA’s ruling that gave all spring sport athletes an extra year of eligibility, he will have three seasons of eligibility remaining.

Pitcher Owen Meaney announced Monday that he intends to transfer and has entered his name in the NCAA Transfer Portal (photo courtesy of texassports.com).

Three Longhorns, including starting pitcher Bryce Elder, could hear their names called in next week’s five-round Major League Baseball Draft. Texas also will bring in a 16-man signing class that includes reliever Palmer Wenzel, who will arrive as a graduate transfer from Texas-San Antonio and will be eligible immediately.

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Teams are allowed as many players on their rosters as they would like for the upcoming 2021 season only. If each of the three of UT seniors decides to use his extra year, Texas would bring in 38 players next year.

Here’s a quick look at the three Texas seniors, as well as compilations of what is being said when it comes to each player’s prospects of being taken in the draft.

Outfielder Duke Ellis: A renegade on the basepaths, Ellis has drawn comparisons to current MLB stars such as San Francisco Giants center fielder Billy Hamilton for his speed and hard-nosed style of play in center field. During the 2020 season he stole seven bases to extend his streak with 32 consecutive stolen bases over the past three seasons. He does not possess a tremendous amount of power (four home runs in three seasons at Texas) but has always proven he could hit for average (he hit .266 in 2019). Previously drafted in 2017 by the San Diego Padres.
Projected draft round: 4

Outfielder Duke Ellis started the season with at least one hit in each game to help lead the Texas baseball team to a three-game season-opening sweep of Rice (photo courtesy of texassports.com).

Right fielder Austin Todd: He had to earn playing time, but once he broke into the lineup in 2018, he hardly came out. His key characteristics at the plate are his ability to produce runs and hit with runners on base. In 2019, he led the Horns with 38 runs batted in, and even this past season, strung together an eight-game hitting streak from Feb. 19-March 1.
Projected draft round: 5

In the abbreviated 2020 season, right fielder Austin Todd led the Longhorns with a .375 average, 27 hits and 14 runs scored (photo courtesy of texassports.com).

Catcher DJ Petrinsky: He spent five seasons at the collegiate level, three of those at Texas, serving as a veteran leader behind the plate. His power did not go unnoticed either: in the shortened season, he was one of two Longhorns with multiple home runs, including a two-run homer at Minute Maid Park against LSU in February. Petrinksy has not played a full season since 2018 — he received a medical hardship waiver in 2019 due to surgery, and only started 11 of the Longhorns' 17 games in 2020. He would have two seasons of eligibility left if he returns to Texas.
Projected draft round: 5

Catcher DJ Patrinsky celebrates his third-inning home run in the Texas baseball team's 4-3 loss to LSU (photo by Don Bender / Horns Illustrated).

Check out next week's edition of 411 on the Forty to see what the draft may look like for other Texas players like Zach Zubia, Bryce Elder, and a few of the other highly-rated Texas signees in the Class of 2020.

Riley Zayas

Riley Zayas is a high school sophomore and freelance journalist from Round Rock, Texas. He began his journalism career as a Sports Illustrated Kids reporter and has since become a regular contributor to Horns Illustrated, covering Texas Longhorn sports. His work also includes Fellowship of Christian Athletes publications, College Baseball Nation and Sports Spectrum, a national christian sports website. He currently serves as the Managing Editor of True To The Cru, covering UMHB athletics. Twitter: @ZayasRiley

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