Prep Baseball Report

MLB Draft: Day 3 Recap (IL)

Illinois Staff

The 2019 MLB Draft has officially come to a close. Hundreds of baseball players from across the country saw their name called, fulfilling life-long dreams in the process. Many of those players were drafted on day 3, which covers the 11th through 40th round. Here is the list of Illinois natives who were drafted on day 3. 

(University of Illinois) Rd. 11 - No. 338 Tampa Bay Rays

Ben Troike SS / 2B / Lincoln-Way North, IL / 2016

5.4.16 - Illinois commit. 5-foot-10, 155-pound shortstop, lean athlete. Offensively profiles well at the top of a lineup, hitterish in the box, high plate discipline, takes quality at-bats and sees a lot of pitches. Short path to the baseball, barrel control guy, spray hitter. Defensively arm carries well across the diamond, reliable defender, shows the ability to make all the plays, athletic with good body control.

(Illinois State) Rd. 13 - No. 382 Detroit Tigers

Matt Walker LHP / 1B / Morris, IL / 2016

6/18/15 - Recently committed to Illinois State. Lanky, athletic left handed pitcher, 6-foot-3, 175-pounds. Delivery works across body, slightly rotational, fluid actions, shoulder stay closed. Arm is easy, long and loose, has quickness, high ¾ slot. Creates tough angle on his fastball, has arm side run and the ability to fill the zone, 84-85 mph. Curveball has sweeping action, slurve type breaking ball, good feel with ability to throw strikes, 69-73 mph. Changeup showed advanced action, arm side run with good feel, 76-79 mph. Highly projectable arm.

(Hononegah HS) Rd. 14 - No. 425 St. Louis Cardinals

Tyler Statler RHP / 1B / Hononegah, IL / 2019

1/13/19 - SEMO commit. 6-foot-6, 225-pound right-handed pitcher built with an extra-large, durable frame. Down-tempo, methodical delivery, works on line, shoulders level, square landing. Long, loose, and quick arm action from a high ¾ slot. Arm slot leads to heavy, downhill fastball. Fastball, hard boring action, 88-89 mph, topped 90 mph. Changeup, mostly matched arm speed, some fade/run, 81-83 mph. Curveball, occasionally got on top, between 12/6 and 11/5 shape 

(Illinois State) Rd. 14 - No. 429 Colorado Rockies

Joe Aeilts 3B / C / Champaign Central, IL / 2016


5.16.15 - Currently ranked No. 83 in Illinois’ 2016 class. Solid 6-foot-2, 185-pound frame with proportional strength. Versatile athlete; can play third base and catcher well. Seemingly plays more third base on high school team out of necessity, but in second game of doubleheader he threw out Luke Shadid (one of the top athletes in the 2016 class) stealing second, 2.04 pop time, a thigh-high gloveside strike. Throws have easy carry (79 from crouch; 83 from third base at PBR event) and shows athletic feet. Above-average runner for size and positions; ran a 4.37 on infield single, 4.50 on 4-3 putout (6.99 60 at PBR event). Offensively, hits cleanup for team. Balanced setup, high back elbow, above-average bat speed. In the second game, went 2-for-3, which included a line-shot off the pitcher’s hip that knocked him out of the game. Also flew out deep to centerfield in the first game. … Came in to pitch in the second game, fastball ranged between 83-86 for two innings, topping at 87 three times. High-follow prospect in the 2016 class.

(North Carolina State) Rd. 17 - No. 517 Atlanta Braves

Alec Barger OF / RHP / Champaign Central, IL / 2016


4.4.15 - Listed at 6-foot, 165-pounds but looks to be at least 6-foot-2 now, lean, lanky and athletic RHP/CF impresses with all-around game. Homered three times in double header, two to center and one to right field. Hits from a tall, athletic, open setup, short, compact, level, line drive swing, lets the ball get deep, 4.08 runner to first on an infield error at 2B, subsequently stole second (ran a 6.64 laser timed 60 this summer).  Plus arm during infield/outfield during pregame in center. Throws from a loose, athletic, high ¾ arm slot, nearly threw out a runner at the plate in game two from medium center field on a fly to home. On the mound, fastball sat mostly 84-86 mph, touched 88 mph with sink and arm side run when down in the zone. Late breaking curveball thrown from 70-73 mph, missed down in the dirt, but has quality shape and action. Also flashed a 76-77 mph change. Barger is a legitimate two-way talent, but may be a draft type talent as an outfielder. He’s one of the top overall athletes in the 2016 class.

(John A. Logan) Rd. 21 - No. 624 Cincinnati Reds

Ashton Creal OF / Metea Valley, IL / 2017

6.16.16 - 6-foot-1, 180-pound right-handed hitting outfielder with an athletic frame. Defensively has a long arm action from an over the top arm slot. Accurate throws with carry, throwing 89 mph from the outfield. Athletic actions, playing thru the ball with a clean exchange and fluid footwork. Offensively hits from a balanced setup with a short toe tap stride. Pull hitter with a long, uphill swing path and fluid rhythm. Showed strength thru contact with 91 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 7.07.

(John. A Logan) Rd. 21 - No. 638 Tampa Bay Rays

Andrew Peters RHP / SS / Morris, IL / 2017

8.16.16 - 5-foot-10, 155-pound, lean, plenty of room for added strength, two-way prospect. One of the better 2017 right-handed pitchers still uncommitted. Quick, loose arm action from a high ¾ slot, projects. Delivery works with rhythm, slight tuck, coiled at balance point, creates some deception, regular effort, stays in line and closed toe landing. Fastball, thrown for strikes, arm-side-run and flashed sink, sat 85-86 mph. Curveball works 11/5 when best, backed up at times, sharp action, 69-72 mph. Changeup, thrown with near fastball arm speed, arm-side-run action, ranged between 76-79 mph. Also, showed a knuckleball, 71-72 mph. Offensively, right-handed hitter, loose, handsy swing and fluid rhythm throughout. Path works uphill, gap-to-gap approach, 85 mph exit velocity from a tee. Balanced, open setup, smooth pre-pitch load and short leg-lift timing trigger. Defensively, soft hands, athletic fielding position, clean exchange and body control on the infield. Arm works loose, high ¾ slot, throws flashed carry, clocked at 83 mph across the infield. 7.68 runner in the 60. High follow 2017 right-handed pitcher. 

(Illinois State) Rd. 24 - No. 711 Miami Marlins

Jeff Lindgren RHP / 2B / Champaign Centennial, IL / 2015

5.16.15 - 6-foot-2, 185-pound athletic right-handed pitcher, ranked No. 188 in IL, committed to Parkland College. Impressed with command in this outing, struck out six, walked none. Fastball sat 83-86 mph, reportedly has touched higher this spring. Works from short, quick, high ¾ arm slot, toe down at balance point, up tempo delivery. Mixed fastball with 71-74 mph curveball, able to throw for strikes consistently, 11/5 shape. Offensively, hits fifth, left-handed hitter, open setup, short stride, showed off athleticism stealing second base after reaching on an infield error.

RHP Quinten Sefcik (University of Illinois) Rd. 24 - No. 714 Cincinnati Reds



Quintin Sefcik RHP / SS / Carmel Catholic, IL / 2014




RHP Zac Taylor (University of Illinois) Rd. 25 - No. 761 Chicago Cubs



Zac Taylor RHP / OF / Downers Grove South, IL / 2014




(Marian Catholic) Rd. 26 - No. 773 San Diego Padres

Pierce Jones OF / Marian Catholic, IL / 2019

Northern Illinois commit. Stock is on the rise as of late and showed why in his first game at the Kickoff Classic. Led off for Marian Catholic and took four quality at-bats, finishing 3-for-4 with a double and run scored. Quick, strong hands, natural lift in his swing, pull approach and made consistent hard contact. Doubled to deep left-center field in his third at-bat, 4.75 on the turn. Also, reached on an infield single in his final at-bat, 4.36 down the line. Instincts and aggressive on the bases. Stole two bases and is always looking to push the envelope. Natural outfield actions, fluid footwork, concise routes, gets around the baseball and plays through. Should be able to stick in center field moving forward. 

LHP Sam Ballard (Parkland JC) Rd. 28 - No. 833 San Diego Padres



Sam Ballard LHP / Alton, IL / 2016




SS Jimmy Govern (Eastern Illinois) Rd. 30 - No. 889 Kansas City Royals



Jimmy Govern SS / Libertyville, IL / 2015




(Southeastern Louisiana St.) Rd. 30 - No. 906 Seattle Mariners

Cody Grosse SS / 2B / Joliet West, IL / 2015

5.29.15 - 5-foot-8, 145-pound athletic left-handed hitting shortstop ranked No. 111 in IL’s 2015 class, one of the most exciting players in the state of Illinois to watch defensively and at the plate. Hits from a crouched setup, slightly uphill bat path, swing geared towards left-center, but actually pulled a ball deep to right for a flyout to the warning track. Doubled down the first base line, 4.32 rounding the bag, on field speed rounding bases and first step quickness is even faster than 6.95 60 yard dash times he’s posted. Defensively, got to several balls diving to his back hand twice, and one run through ball that several shortstops can’t get to. Didn’t get an out on any of the plays, but made them close. Arm strength is only question for next level, signed to go to Chicago State, but is recovering nicely from off-season shoulder surgery (a minor cleanup). At the very least he’ll be a well above average defensive second baseman, and catalyst at the top of the lineup. If arm strength rebounds he can stick at shortstop due to range and hands. Four year starter and one of the more exciting high school players to watch this season. 

2B Marty Bechina (Michigan State) Rd. 32 - No. 974 Oakland Athletics



Marty Bechina SS / 2B / St. Rita, IL / 2015




(Southern Illinois) Rd. 33 - No. 997 Atlanta Braves

Justin Yeager RHP / OF / Plainfield North, IL / 2016

1.12.15 - 6-foot-4, 175-pound athletically built right-handed pitcher currently ranked No. 62 in Illinois’ 2016 class has seen his velocity climb this winter after exclusively working on the mound. Yeager sat 83-85 mph in July at the Class of 2016 Showcase, but recently flashed 86-88 mph velocity. His curveball has also improved from 71-72 mph, to 77-78 mph, also throws a 74 mph changeup.

(Lincoln-Way East) Rd. 33 - No. 1002 Chicago Cubs

Ryan Ritter SS / 2B / Lincoln-Way East, IL / 2019

Austin Peay commit, currently ranked No. 20 in the Illinois’ 2019 class. 6-foot-1, 165-pound, long, athletically built shortstop; continues to add quality strength. Advanced defensive actions, plays with moxy, soft sure-hands, clean release and loose arm. Only shows off his above-average arm strength when needed. Will often opt to drop down and throw from low slot when on the move. Natural at starting or finishing the double play turn. Smooth and quick release coming across the bag. Offensively, continues to make strides in the right direction. Loose swing, bat speed is present. Aggressive approach, will attack early in the count and look to drive the baseball. Finished 1-for-3 with a hustle double into the right center field gap. Thought two out of the box, tight turn around first base, no hesitation. High-level 2019 prospect, who is just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential. Should be one to keep an eye on in the coming years. 

(Marist HS) Rd. 34 - No. 1014 Cincinnati Reds

Jason Hodges OF / 1B / Marist, IL / 2019

Arkansas commit. 6-foot-2, 210-pound physically advanced draft prospect, plays the game at a high level, slows it down. Right-handed hitter, played right field and hit third. Led the offensive charge for top ranked Marist going 2-for-3 with a 2B, HR, four RBI and two runs scored. Had three quality at-bats. Advanced approach at the plate, presence in the box, stays balanced through contact no matter the pitch speed, effortless bat speed, hands are ultra-quick and repeatedly gets the barrel to the ball. On the pull-side RBI double, 4.69 on the turn. Came in to score on an aggressive dirt ball read, runs well for his plus size. Hit a no-doubt home run to his pull-side as well. Saw no action on defense. 

(Nazareth HS) Rd. 35 - No. 1050 Philadelphia Phillies

Michael Prosecky LHP / Nazareth, IL / 2019

Louisville commit, currently ranked No. 2 in the Illinois’ 2019 class and No. 81 overall. 6-foot-4, 200-pound, wide-shouldered, strong, durable-frame, left-handed pitcher. One of the top draft prospects in the state. Started on Saturday against Kenwood. Simple, repeatable delivery, minimal wasted movement. Arm works loose, clean and extremely easy from a ¾ slot. Works fast, attacks hitters and featured a three-pitch mix throughout. Fastball, comes out of the hand clean and easy, finishes through the zone, works mostly straight and to both sides of the plate, sat 88-91 mph throughout, touching 92. Slider, comes out of same window, inconsistent shape and action, short wrinkle, average feel, 78-81 mph. Only showed a few changeups, located to the arm side, down in the zone, slight run, 82-84 mph. Highly-projectable, left-handed arm with plenty of more in the tank. Final Line: 4.2 IP, H, 0 R, 11 K, 3 BB.

RHP Mitchell Jackson (Marion HS) Rd. 36 - No. 1087 Atlanta Braves



Mitchell Jackson RHP / Marion, IL / 2019




OF Derek Lee (University of Richmond) Rd. 39 - No. 1184 Oakland Athletics



DJ Lee SS / 2B / Lincoln-Way North, IL / 2014




(St. Laurence HS) Rd. 40. - No. 1194 Cincinnati Reds

Matt McCormick C / 3B / St. Laurence, IL / 2019

West Virginia commit. 6-foot, 205-pound durable framed and strong, athletic actions. Hit third and played third for St. Laurence finished with a line: 4QABs, 1-for-2, 2R, RBI, 2BB, SB. Advanced approach at the plate, presence in the box, controls the barrel and stays balanced through contact. Electric bat speed, lets the ball get deep and produces hard contact to all fields, goes where the pitcher pitches it. Power potential is prevalent, can naturally lift the ball to all fields. Reached on an error to his pull side, and slashed a single to his oppo side, flicked his hands for a line drive single, 4.38 on short turn. Was intentionally walked once, teams will pitch around. Came into relief tossing one inning with three hits, one earned, one K with 12 of 22 pitches for strikes. Simple delivery, low hanging knee balance, short stride in-line, closed toe, easy, controlled finish. Short, compact arm action, arm strength type, high ¾ slot, easy effort. Fastball had life late, slight same plane run, put to his glove side, 86-88 mph. Slider flashed tight spin, throws it hard in-game, 11/5 plane with some depth, 71-74 mph. 

(McHenry JC) Rd. 40 - No. 1196 San Francisco Giants

Jeff Heinrich 3B / OF / Huntley, IL / 2017

8.9.16 - Recent McHenry County JC commit. 6-foot-1, 185-pound, strong, athletic, right-handed hitting infielder. 6.73 runner in the laser timed 60. Offensively, bat speed, short, level path through the hitting zone, line-drive approach, fluid rhythm; exit velocity clocked at 92 mph. Hard contact and ability to backspin the baseball. Balanced setup, short stride, maintains balance through contact. Defensively, soft hands, clean exchange, athletic actions in the infield. Short, loose, accurate arm from an over the top slot; 84 mph across the infield. 

(Marist HS) Rd. 40 - No. 1209 Colorado Rockies

Kendal Ewell OF / 1B / Marist, IL / 2019

Eastern Kentucky commit, currently ranked No. 4 in the state and No. 104 overall. Has drawn pro interest this spring. 6-foot-3, 195-pound, right-handed hitting outfielder; highly-advanced, athletic, well-proportioned frame with plenty of room for continued physical development. One of the toolsiest, high-ceiling prospects in the state. Had a huge day offensively for the Redhawks. Went 4-for-4 with a three-run home run, a triple, five RBI’s and a run scored. Relaxed in box, open setup, pre-pitch rhythm, short stride and quiet swing. Loose hands, creates effortless bat speed, bat stays through the zone and has power to all fields. His three-run home-run was driven over the right-center field fence. Will occasionally get long and around the baseball when he tries to pull. Defensively, played left field. Unrefined outfielder, long, easy strides, uncertain routes. Did not show off his plus arm (94 mph at a previous event). High-ceiling 2019 right-handed hitter.