A trio of Illinois State baseball's best were selected in Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft, as Matt Walker (Detroit Tigers), Joe Aeilts (Colorado Rockies) and Jeff Lindgren (Miami Marlins) each heard their names called on the third day and final day of the 2019 draft on Wednesday.
Aeilts, the 2019 Missouri Valley Conference Joe Carter Player of the Year, heard his name called by the Rockies in the 14th round (429 overall). In conference play this season, Aeilts slashed .349/.404/.570 with seven doubles, four home runs, 19 RBI, and 18 runs scored.
Lindgren, a senior right-hander from Champaign, Illinois, was drafted in Round 24 by the Marlins (711 overall). In 19 appearances in 2019, he posted a 5-5 record with a 5.96 ERA with 14 starts on the mound.
Walker was selected by the Tigers in the 13th round (382 overall). The junior left-handed starter from Morris, Illinois, finished the season with a 5-8 record and a 4.75 ERA in 16 starts on the mound for the Redbirds in 2019.
They join teammates John Rave (5th round – Kansas City Royals) and Brent Headrick (9th round – Minnesota Twins) as Redbird draftees in 2019. The five total selections are the most for ISU since 2014, when six Redbirds had their names called during the draft including major leaguers Paul DeJong and Brock Stewart.
Aeilts and Walker have until July 15 to sign contracts with their drafted clubs.