Our expert weighs in on the chances of Illinois' draft-eligible players
Baseball beat writer Jeff Huth’s random thought on the MLB amateur draft, which begins Thursday:
If you believe Baseball America — and it’s usually the most reliable thing going when it comes to evaluating the pro prospect landscape — no draft-eligible player from this state will be taken before at least the sixth round. Not even Justin Parr, the Illini’s Big Ten Player of the Year and Louisville Slugger first-team All-American. BA ranks Parr as the No. 8 prospect in what it considers a below-par Illinois talent pool and as No. 408 in the nation. Other Illini on BA’s list of top 30 state prospects are redshirt junior left fielder Jordan Parr (No. 11), senior pitcher Kevin Johnson (No. 20) and prep signee Ryne Roper (No. 22), an infielder-pitcher from Harrisburg. Another Illini signee, outfielder Alex Greer of Iowa Western Community College, is rated the No. 7 prospect in the Hawkeye State. The loss of Jordan Parr wouldn’t come as a surprise to the Illini staff, particularly after his eye-catching performance in the NCAA tournament’s Nashville Regional, but they’ve got their fingers crossed on Roper and Greer. BA’s state prospects list also includes a couple of others of local note. Danville High catcher Chuckie Robinson, who signed with Southern Mississippi, is No. 26. Illini football signee Michael Hermosillo, an outfielder for Ottawa High, rates at No. 12. The name of UI junior shortstop Thomas Lindauer is nowhere to be found on BA’s list, but we have to believe his stellar fielding skills and improvement at the plate have the attention — and recommendation — of pro scouts.