Tilson picked in second round

Tilson picked in second round

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WILMETTE — Charlie Tilson is a Chicago White Sox fan. On Tuesday, another major league team made a pitch for the Illinois baseball recruit's allegiance.

Looks like it worked.

"To be picked by a prestigious organization like St. Louis is awesome," Tilson said after being drafted by the Cardinals. "It's an incredible organization, and I'm honored to be selected by them."

Tilson, the 2011 Illinois Gatorade High School Player of the Year, was taken by the Cardinals in the second round with the 79th overall pick. The New Trier senior center fielder, who signed a national letter of intent with the Illini in November, will decide between turning pro or entering college after negotiating with St. Louis on a signing bonus.

He has until Aug. 15 to sign with the Cardinals.

"Right now I just feel fortunate that I've got two great options," Tilson said, "and we'll take it from here and see where it goes."

Long projected to be an early-round pick, the left-handed hitting and throwing Tilson was not among the first 60 players taken Monday night during the first and supplemental rounds. When the draft resumed late Tuesday morning, the 5-foot-11, 175-pounder didn't have to wait long for his name to be called as he watched on MLB.com's live video stream of the draft.

"I'm so excited I can't even bring the words out," said Tilson, who batted .406 with 28 stolen bases and 41 runs for the Trevians this spring. "It's every kid's dream growing up, and I've always wanted to have this opportunity in front of me, and this day has finally come."

Shortly after being picked, Tilson received a call from the Cardinals' area scout. Kris Gross didn't need to introduce himself to Tilson, having closely followed the New Trier senior's career as he emerged as a pro prospect.

"I'd known there was some interest there," Tilson said of the Cardinals. "Over the course of this ride, we've developed a pretty good relationship (with Gross). It was great getting a call from him and hearing it through him."

Tilson indicated his father, Joe, would handle negotiations with St. Louis as the family clarifies what is permissible under the NCAA's no-agent rule.

Drafted recruits are allowed to use an adviser to counsel them on such issues as the amount of money the player can expect to command in his range of the draft. However, advisers are not allowed to represent draftees in negotiations or contact MLB teams on behalf of the player.

Illini trio picked. Three Illini players, all juniors, were selected in the top 18 rounds Tuesday. Catcher Adam Davis was an 11th-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles, while shortstop Josh Parr went in the 12th round to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Minnesota Twins chose left-handed pitcher Corey Kimes in Round 18.

Parr, a three-year middle infield starter, hit .302 this season and ranked third on the team in RBI with 36. Parr also excelled on defense, making numerous exceptional plays while drastically cutting his errors from 26 last season to nine.

Davis, in his first season as a full-time starter, hit .290 with a team-high 14 doubles, five homers and 33 RBI. He threw out 18 of 52 runners attempting to steal.

Kimes, the No. 3 starter in the UI rotation, went 4-4 with a 5.15 ERA. He ranked second on the team in strikeouts with 57 in 852/3 innings.

Ex-Cobras selected. Danny Winkler, a former Parkland College and current Central Florida pitcher, was picked in the 20th round by the Colorado Rockies.

The junior right-hander went 3-4 with a 4.70 ERA this season for the Knights. He led Central Florida in appearances (18) and strikeouts (92).

Winkler was drafted after his sophomore season with the Cobras — in the 43rd round by the Chicago Cubs — but chose not to sign. 

Spencer Patton, a former Cobra pitcher who transferred to Southern Illinois-Edwardsville after this sophomore season, was selected in the 24th round by Kansas City.

The senior right-hander, who played for Parkland in 2007 and 2008, went 9-3 with a 2.55 ERA this season for the Cougars.

Categories (3):Baseball, Illini Sports, Sports

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DaisyJ wrote on June 09, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Easy call, $500,000 and pro training or U of I. Sorry U of I, and great job Hartlieb and coaches and players. Just shows you have to play the game and the U of I showed plenty of heart and determination.

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