Illinois State baseball's John Rave and Brent Headrick have been selected in Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft. Rave was a fifth-round pick of the Kansas City Royals, while Headrick was a 9th-round selection of the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday.
Rave, a 2019 All-Missouri Valley Conference First-Team selection, was the 139th pick overall. He is the third Redbird position player to be drafted in the top five rounds over the past five years, joining Paul DeJong who was selected in the fourth round by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2015, and Owen Miller who was picked in the third round last year by the San Diego Padres.
The Bloomington, Illinois, native leapt onto the national scene when he was named an all-star in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League last summer. He followed that stellar performance in summer baseball with a strong junior campaign, as he started every game in centerfield and manned the leadoff spot in the order for the Redbirds in 2019.
The junior slashed .297/.377/.502 during the season and led the team in conference play with 97 at-bats, 22 runs scored, eight home runs, 22 RBI, and 58 total bases. It was not the first time Rave had heard his named called in the draft, however, as he was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 35th round of the 2016 MLB Draft before coming to play collegiately at Illinois State.
Headrick, the 2019 Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year, was selected 269th overall by the Twins. The junior left-handed starter posted a 9-3 record and 3.47 ERA in 2019, and significantly upped his stock by striking out 14 batters in six innings of work last Friday at the NCAA Regional in a win over the nationally-ranked Indiana Hoosiers.