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MLB Draft Preview: Illinois

Draft : : State Preview
David Rawnsley        
Published: Tuesday, May 21, 2013

In the weeks leading up to the draft, Perfect Game will be providing a detailed overview of each state in the U.S., including the District of Columbia, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. These overviews will list the state's strengths, weaknesses and the players with the best tools, as well as providing scouting reports on all Group 1 and 2 players as ranked in Perfect Game's state-by-state scouting lists.  Please visit this page for all of the links to Perfect Game's 2013 Draft Preview content.

Illinois State-by-State List

It has been a very down year for the state of Illinois in 2013, as it’s possible to create scenarios where no high school or four-year college player is drafted within the top 10 rounds. No high school player is considered a lock for what is traditionally considered a “signing” round for college bound high school prospects and the most draftable four-year college players are seniors.

The saving grace of the state this year has been the quality of play, both by the prospects and many of the teams, at the junior college level. At least five junior college players, led by Heartland CC left handed pitcher Daniel Lietz and Lincoln Land CC outfielder Ryan Aper, could be top 10 round picks. Heartland CC (41-9), Kaskaskia CC (36-10) and Wabash Valley CC (44-14) have been fixtures in the Perfect Game JUCO Top 50 rankings all season.

  Junior college prospects, college seniors
WEAKNESS:  Premium high school or college prospects
OVERALL RATING (1-to-5 scale): 1

 University of Illinois

BEST OUT-OF-STATE PROSPECT, Illinois Connection:
 Eric Jagielo, 3b, Notre Dame (attended high school in Downers Grove)
Top 2014 Prospect: Sam Coonrod, rhp, Southern Illinois
Top 2015 Prospect: Trent Johnson, rhp, Metamora HS, East Peoria


Draft History:
Danny Goodwin, c, Central HS, Peoria (1971, White Sox/1st round, 1st pick)
2008 Draft: Jake Odorizzi, rhp, Highland HS (Brewers/1st round, 32nd pick)
2009 Draft: Tyler Kehrer, lhp, Eastern Illinois U. (Angels/1st round, 48th pick)
2010 Draft: Mike Foltyniewicz, rhp, Minooka Community HS (Astros/1st round/19th pick)
2011 Draft: Charlie Tilson, of, New Trier HS (Cardinals/2nd round)
2012 Draft: Chris Serritella, 1b, U. Southern Illinois (Phillies/4th round)


College Players Drafted/Signed:
Junior College Players Drafted/Signed: 5/3
High School Players Drafted/Signed: 10/5


GROUP 2 (rounds 4-10)

1. ZACH BURDI, rhp, Downers Grove South HS
Burdi is a completely different athlete and pitcher than his 6-foot-4, 225-pound brother Nick at Louisville, but the intrigue of his brother’s development is not lost on the scouting community. Nick Burdi (3-2, 0.64, 14 saves, 55 strikeouts in 28 innings) is a potential top half of the first round talent for the 2014 draft in the classic big power closer model and has been topping out in the 100-plus range this spring. Zach Burdi is a slimmer and looser athlete at 6-foot-3, 195-pounds and comes at hitters from a loose armed, low- to mid- three-quarters arm angle. He pitches mostly around 90 mph with lots of run and sink down in the strike zone but has been as high as 94 mph at times. Burdi’s changeup is his most advanced off speed pitch, with similar movement to his fastball with good arm speed in the low-80s. Developing a more consistent breaking ball is Burdi’s biggest priority moving to the next level. His lower whippy arm slot causes him to get under his mid- to upper-70s slurve frequently, flattening the pitch out. Burdi has the overall athleticism and projectable build to project with his overall stuff, notable as his brother did not have the same traits out of high school but still has gained five mph on his own fastball. He is signed with Iowa.

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