MLB Draft Illinois Recap: Day 1



By Matt Huck
Area Scout

Day one of the MLB Draft is complete and the first day had some Illinois flavor to it with five players with Illinois ties going in the first 77 picks, with all coming from the college ranks.

Corey Ray, OF, University of Louisville (Simeon), 2013
1st round, 5th overall, Milwaukee Brewers

Corey RayAfter being drafted in the 33rd round by the Mariners out of high school, Ray chose to honor his commitment to Louisville, where he has blossomed as Cardinal. Teams have been enamored with his five tool potential and the physical improvements he has made in his time at Louisville. This season he is hitting .319 with 15 home runs and 44 stolen bases in 52 attempts heading into the Super Regional. Here is a report on Ray from late in his senior season of high school. 

5/21/13 - Has turned it on the last half of the season and his draft stock has continued to climb, from what we’re hearing. The 6-foot, 190-pound Louisville recruit has arguably the most polished left-handed swing in Illinois’ 2013 class. Ray looked extremely impressive against Morgan Park. His plate approach is advanced well beyond his age. He barreled the ball all game, but his crowning moment was when he crushed a taper-shot blast well over the centerfield batter’s eye. I’m not good at gestimating how far the ball travels, but I can tell you the ball sailed well over the 407-feet marker. He also is an advanced outfielder with solid arm strength.

Zack Burdi, RHP, University of Louisville (Downers Grove South), 2013
1st round, 26th overall, Chicago White Sox

Zack BurdiBurdi followed in older brother Nick’s footsteps on the way to the back end of the Louisville bullpen. Burdi has developed with the Cardinals with an opponents batting average of .167 off him in his career while striking out 82 hitters in 68.1 innings and racking up 20 saves. Burdi’s calling card is his electric fastball that sits in the upper 90s and reaches triple didgits, and is the closest to the Majors prospect in the draft. Most scouts feel Burdi is further along than his brother Nick was at the same time. He has shown feel for all three of his pitches and better command. It would not be out of the question to possibly see Burdi coming out of the pen at 35th and Shields later this season. Here is a report on Burdi from his senior season at Downers Grove South.

5/6/13 - Currently ranked No. 1 in Illinois and No. 6 overall. On Monday against Willowbrook, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound showed similar stuff as his Super 60 performance in February – a performance that made him a high-interest draft prospect. Working from a 3/4 slot, Burdi’s fastball sat 91-92 in the first inning with heavy arm-side run and sink. In the second inning, his fastball sat 90-91, and didn’t dip below 90 until the fourth. He also showed a sharp 79-mph slider with hard two-plane action, a pitch he threw for strikes early in the game. Burdi also threw a 72-74 mph curveball. He didn’t throw his changeup much, which is surprising because at the Super 60, it was a plus pitch. Burdi retired the first 10 batters he faced, seven via strikeout and five straight at one point. In the later innings, he consistently missed arm-side. He finished the game with eight strikeouts, four hits – two of the infield variety – with four walks and one hit batsman. Downers Grove South lost the game 1-0. Overall, Burdi very well may have the most electric stuff in Illinois. Harnessing it will be his key in the future.

Cody Sedlock, RHP, University of Illinois (Rock Island Alleman), 2013
1st round, 27th overall, Baltimore Orioles

Sedlock came into his junior year with the Illini making only five career starts over his first 33 career appearances. This past summer he went to the cape where he made an adjustment in his delivery and started to show the velocity scouts had been hoping for. This season he put it all together making 14 starts en route to being named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year. He struck out an impressive 116 hitters in 101.1 innings pitched while holding opponents to a .219 average.

Nick Solak, 2B, University of Louisville (Naperville North), 2013
2nd round, 62nd overall, New York Yankees 

Solak has been a mainstay in the Cardinal lineup the past two seasons while holding a .347 career batting average, and having an OBP just north of .440. The thing that stands out most about Solak is that in his college career he has walked more times then he has struck out. Here is a report on Solak from his senior year at Naperville North.

5/23/13 - Louisville commit. Defensively shows clean actions defensively, hands work well, shows a soft feel. Arm action is long, shows athletic arm action, plays well on the run, long strided. Offensively shows bat speed, athletic swinger, middle to opposite field approach, shows hard contact to the middle of the field.

Matthias Dietz, RHP, John A. Logan JC (Sanburg), 2014
2nd round, 69th overall, Baltimore Orioles

Dietz was drafted last year by the Giants in 29th round, but decided to return to school. That decision has paid off for him improving his draft stock dramatically this season. Dietz created buzz around the scouting community last fall with his fastball reaching 98 mph. He was flat out dominant this spring going 12-1 while striking out 117 hitters in 103 innings pitched and only walking 11. Here is a report on Dietz from his senior year at Sandburg.

4/18/14 - John A. Logan commit, ranked No. 65 in the state, No. 306 overall. Big bodied right hander, 6-foot-5, 230-pounds, sturdy build, excellent pitchers frame. Controls size well, delivery shows the ability to repeat, head stays on line, closed landing. Arm works from ¾ slot, separates with thumb up, shorter back swing, rigid separation and backswing, arm works much cleaner out front, longer with separation from head. Fastball touched 90 several times, mostly in first inning, once again in fourth, created good angle with sink, pitched primarily at 88 mph, dipped slightly in stretch but held velocity through seven innings. Breaking ball has slurve action, occasionally decelerated arm speed, ranged from 72-74 mph touching 75 mph, tendency to get underneath pitch, occasional lazy action, better suited for power slider. Dietz was a pleasant surprise as his big strong frame was able to hold 88 mph throughout his outing creating excellent angles from his ¾ slot with sink. Dietz proved tough to elevate, recording just three outs via the air.

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