Nine Illini Baseball Players Taken In MLB Draft
The 2015 Illinois baseball team (50-10-1) set more records during its season than any other in program history. But even after its season concluded Monday against Vanderbilt at the NCAA Champaign Super Regional, the achievements kept rolling in.
Within the first hour that Illinois’ season ended, pitching sensation Tyler Jay was selected sixth overall by the Minnesota Twins in the MLB draft. The closer converted a school-record 14 saves this season. His career stats at Illinois include a 10-6 record with a 1.68 ERA and 24 saves.
Eight more Illini were drafted after Jay, setting a record for the most players selected at the draft in school history.
The junior lefty was taken 158th overall in the fifth round by the Oakland Athletics. Duchene, who was named first-team All-Big Ten starting pitcher, posted a record of 11-2 with an ERA of 1.75 and 88 strikeouts this season.
(Jeff Bossert/WILL News)
Kerian was picked 284th overall in the ninth round by the Washington Nationals.
The senior was awarded Big Ten Player of the Year for his .367 batting average, 16 long balls and team-high 52 RBIs.
He showed impressive base running skills for a first baseman, swiping 52 bags this year.
The junior catcher was selected with the 522nd pick in the 17th round of the MLB draft. Goldstein was a key player for his team, calling the majority of the games for a stellar Illinois pitching staff.
The sophomore shortstop was taken with the 613th pick overall in the 20th round by the Baltimore Orioles. Walton was first-team All-Big Ten in 2015. He had a batting average of .289 as the leadoff hitter for the Illini.
Blackburn was selected by the New York Mets wit the 659th pick in the 22nd round of the MLB draft.
The junior had a 3-0 record and came in mostly as a setup pitcher.
McDonnell was picked by the Los Angeles Dodgers with the 762nd pick in the 25th round. The right-hander mostly started midweek games, posting a 7-2 record with a 2.28 ERA.
The redshirt senior was selected with the 767th pick in the 26th round of the draft by the Colorado Rockies. He was 10-3 with a 2.01 ERA and named first team All-midwest region this year.
Nagle was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the 817th overall pick in the 27th round. The junior outfielder was a Third-team All-Big Ten selection in 2015.
Three incoming Illini signees were drafted as well. Luke Schilling from Notre Dame prep in Clarkston, Michigan; Brendan Spillane from Wheeling High School; and Jalin McMillan from Simeon Career Academy in Chicago.