Prep Baseball Report

Illinois MLB Draft Recap

By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

For Illinois high school players, the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft was considered a significant disappointment. With so much hype and high-level Illinois talent heading into the spring, you might be asking why only 12 high school players were taken, with the highest draft being Simeon Lucas (Grant HS), in the seventh round, by the Cleveland Indians?

The answer is simple: Signability.

Most of the high-level Illinois high school draft prospects had a very high asking price to sign, and therefore priced themselves out of their slotted round. When it comes to the draft, talent is only half of the equation; signability is the other significant factor of when, or if, players get drafted. In Illinois, and especially in the Chicagoland area, it has been a growing trend of players seeking large signing bonuses, thereby signaling that they would prefer to go to college if their asking price isn’t met. Last year, Matt Brill (Moline HS) was the first high school taken in the 24th round.

With all that said, Illinois had a solid showing overall in the draft thanks to the collegiate players taken. In all, 50 players were taken from Illinois, including two players selected in the second round.  Louisville closer Nick Burdi (Downers Grove South HS, 2011) was the first Illinois player taken, 46th overall, by the Minnesota Twins – the same club that drafted the flame-thrower out of high school in the 24th round.

1B Sam Travis (Providence Catholic HS), who earned PBR Player of the Year honors in 2011, was taken 67 overall by the Red Sox after three decorated years at Indiana University.  Travis was drafted out of high school in the 40th round by the Reds.

A look at some other 2014 draft highlights:

+ The Toronto Blue Jays drafted three Illinois prep prospects, including Lemont HS teammates LHP Jake Latz (11th Round), C Mike Papierski (16th Round), and RHP Tanner Houck (Collinsville HS, 12th Round).

+ Illinois State saw four current players and one recruit drafted. The highest Redbird taken was RHP Jeremy Rhoades (Wheaton-Warrenville South HS, 2011), in the fourth round by the Angels. RHP Brock Stewart (Normal West HS, 2011) went in the sixth round to the Dodgers; LHP Dylan Craig (Murphysboro HS, 2011) went in the 12th round by the Rockies); and INF Paul DeJong (Antioch HS, 2011)went in the 39th round by the Pirates. Additionally, Illinois State’s top recruit, C Simeon Lucas, was also drafted in the seventh round and has reportedly agreed to terms and will sign.

+ Illinois’ vaunted catching crop played out like this: Lucas went in the seventh round. Mitch Trees (Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin HS) went in the 11th round by the Reds; Papierski in the 16th round; and Evan Skoug (Libertyville HS) in the 34th round by the Nationals.

+ Three players from Providence Catholic HS were drafted. Travis led the way, and his 2011 teammate, LHP Matt Trowbridge, was taken in the 13th round by the Orioles out of Central Michigan University.  RHP Jake Godfrey, who’s one of the top prospects in the 2014 class, was drafted in the 21st round by the Braves.

+ OF Mark Payton (St. Rita HS, 2010) was drafted for the third time, this time in the seventh round by the Yankees. Payton, who broke the NCAA record for most consecutive games having reached base, was also drafted in the 16th round and 31st rounds previously.

Below is a complete list of Illinois players selected in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft:

2 46 Burdi, Nick Louisville (Downers South HS)
2 67 Travis, Sam Indiana (Providence HS)
4 119 Rhoades, Jeremy Illinois State (Wheaton South HS)
5 148 Coonrod, Samuel Southern Illinois (Carrollton HS)
5 156 Benjamin, Wes Kansas (St. Charles East HS)
6 189 Stewart, Brock Illinois State (Normal West HS)
7 212 Payton, Mark Texas (St. Rita HS)
7 218 Lucas, Simeon Grant Community HS
9 260 Murphy, Max Bradley University
11 324 Latz, Jake Lemont HS
11 332 Borens, Matthew Eastern Illinois (Peotone HS)
11 335 Trees, Mitch Sacred Heart Griffin HS
12 353 Craig, Dylan Illinois State (Murphysboro HS)
12 354 Houck, Tanner Collinsville HS
12 358 Henning, Jameson Western Illinois
12 372 Willman, Tyler Western Illinois
13 391 Trowbridge, Matt Central Michigan (Providence HS)
13 393 Stout, Eric Butler (St. Francis HS)
15 456 Filomeno, Joe Louisville (St. Rita HS)
15 460 Gerber, Michael Creighton (Neuqua Valley HS)
16 474 Papierski, Michael Lemont HS
16 491 Street, Sam Texas Pan American
19 566 Hirsch, Zach Nebraska (St. Charles North HS)
19 570 Savas, Daniel Illinois State (Willowbrook HS)
21 619 White, Charles Maryland (Naperville North HS)
21 643 Godfrey, Jake Providence Catholic HS
22 652 Powers, Ryan Miami University (Nazareth HS)
22 653 Bumpers, Sam Lamar University (Bradley HS)
23 678 Hollenbeck, Michael Illinois State (Joliet Township HS)
23 696 Day, Darius Simeon HS
24 733 Reiher, Kevin Prairie St College (Eisenhower HS)
26 790 Fischer, Jack Wake Forest (St. Ignatius HS)
27 807 Fitzgerald, Michael Indiana State (Rochester HS)
29 869 Klonowski, Alex Northern Illinois University
29 877 Michelson, Tomas University of Illinois at Chicago
29 880 Butler, Jacob St. Francis (Minooka HS)
30 899 Muck, Ronnie University of Illinois (Maine South HS)
31 934 Johns, Samuel Evansville
33 979 Bass, Brad Lincoln-Way Central HS
33 1001 Lewis, Zach Wabash Valley College (St. Laurence HS)
34 1023 Eaton, Todd Southern Illinois (Greenville HS)
34 1024 Skoug, Evan Libertyville HS
37 1102 Rogalla, Rags Oak Park-River Forest HS
37 1111 Hart, Hunter St. Joseph Ogden HS
37 1119 Kowalczyk, Karch Valparaiso (LaSalle-Peru HS)
37 1121 Holtmann, Bryant Florida State (Mater Dei Breese HS)
38 1128 Justiniano, Anthony Clemente HS
38 1151 DeJong, Paul Illinois State (Antioch HS)
39 1158 Davison, James Morgan Park HS
39 1185 Ruchim, Kyle Northwestern (Stevenson HS)

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