Smile Politely

Four Illini selected in MLB Draft

June 6–8 was the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, more commonly known as the MLB Draft. And good news for the Illini! Four Illinois players were chosen. Justin Parr was selected on Day 2 of the draft, and Jordan Parr, Thomas Lindauer, and Kevin Johnson were chosen on Day 3.

Illinois led all Big Ten teams with four players chosen in the MLB Draft. Here’s a quick summary of those who were taken and by which team. 

Justin Parr

Philadelphia Phillies Round 8 Pick 241

It’s no surprise that Justin Parr was taken early. The 2013 Big Ten player of the Year was a key component of the Illinois offense. Parr made headlines, first breaking the team hit streak record, then going on to hit in 33 straight games. That was good for second in the nation in 2013. He came so close to hitting .400, ending two points shy of the mark and leading the conference. Justin Parr wasn’t just an offensive threat, though. He sported a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in centerfield. Illinois will miss his intense style of play.

Jordon Parr

Arizona Diamondbacks Round 15 Pick 450

Justin Parr is good, but his twin brother, Jordan Parr, may be just as good. This isn’t the first time Jordan has been drafted, by the way. He was picked by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012. They may rue the day they see Parr in a Diamondback uniform in a division series. Jordan Parr has a good mix of power and speed. He batted cleanup for the Illini, yet finished up with Big Ten-high 23 steals for the 2013 season. Parr ended up on the Nashville Regional All-Tournament team due to his three homeruns there, so the Diamondbacks have to be impressed with whom they picked. 

Thomas Lindauer

Houston Astros Round 23 Pick 677

Thomas Lindauer comes off as a scrappy, good, fielding shortstop, which he indeed is. However, he surprised many Illini fans when he started hitting for power in 2013. He tied for second in the Big Ten in homers with 9. Coach Hartleb had his reasons for leading him off this season, though. Lindauer was 15 for 16 in steal attempts and scored 45 runs. He also ended his season well with an 18-game hitting streak. 

A bit of trivia: Lindauer is the second Illini shortstop to be taken by the Astros in five years. Brandon Wikoff was drafted by Houston in 2009. 

Kevin Johnson

Oakland A’s Round 24 Pick 731

Like Jordan Parr, Kevin Johnson was picked in the 2012 MLB Draft when the New York Yankees called his name. Lucky for Illinois fans, he decided to come back for his senior year. Johnson will go down in Illinois Baseball history as one of the best pitchers. He ranks first all-time in innings pitched, eighth in wins, and fifth in strikeouts. Johnson made his coach’s life easier by going out there every Friday and getting the job done. 

Rumor has that a few have gotten their assignments already. Jordan Parr is reported to be going to Missoula Montana to play for the Ospreys. Justin Parr will report to the Williamsport Crosscutters.

Go Indiana??

Yes, Go Indiana. While Illinois has already been tossed out of the NCAA Tournament, Indiana is doing a great job representing the Big Ten. They have made it to Omaha. Not since Michigan did it way back in 1984 has a Big Ten team made it as far as the College World Series. 

As a Big Ten fan, I’m rooting for the Hoosiers. Good luck, Indiana! Represent the Conference!

Congrats to all the draftees! Good luck to you in future!

Related Articles