May 23, 2024

Local players selected in MLB Draft since 2000

Here is a look at the local baseball players who have been selected in the MLB FIrst-Year Player Draft since 2000.


Bobby Miller, McHenry – The right-handed pitcher was taken in the 38th round by Baltimore, but chose to attend Louisville on scholarship and is a sophomore pitcher for the Cardinals.


Brenden Heiss, Jacobs – The right-handed pitcher was taken in the 31st round by the Cubs, but opted to attend Arkansas on scholarship. Heiss, who hits the low 90s mph with his fastball, now pitches at John A. Logan College, a two-year school in Carterville, where he was 8-1 with a 2.24 ERA with 80 strikeouts in 56 1/3 innings last season.

Reilly Peltier, Jacobs – The right-handed pitcher was selected in the 38th round by Texas out of McHenry County College. He no longer is in baseball.


Kevin Kaczmarski, Prairie Ridge – Kaczmarski was drafted out of Evansville in the ninth round by the New York Mets. He was among the Pacific Coast League (Triple-A) batting leaders last season when he was called up to the majors. He is with the Mets in spring training.


Jerad Grundy, Johnsburg – Grundy, a hard-throwing left-hander, was picked by Oakland in the 10th round out of Kentucky. It was the fourth time Grundy was drafted. He was taken out of high school in 2009 by Texas in the 46th round but went to Miami (Florida). He was taken in 2011 by Florida in the 42nd round out of Heartland Community College. He was taken by Minnesota in 2012 in the 27th round out of Kentucky but opted to come back for his senior season.

Eric Aguilera, Cary-Grove – Aguilera, a left-handed hitting outfielder, was taken in the 34th round by the Los Angeles Angels out of Illinois State. He played first base for two teams in the Triple-A Mexican League last year.


Michael Heesch, Prairie Ridge – The tall left-hander from the Wolves' 2008 Class 4A state championship team was taken in the eighth round out of NAIA South Carolina-Beaufort by the Cubs. The next year Heesch spent some time playing for the Kane County Cougars.

Ian Gardeck, Crystal Lake South – The right-hander was taken by San Francisco in the 16th round out of Alabama. He was selected by the White Sox a year earlier in the eighth round out of Angelina College, a junior college in Texas. Gardeck was close to making it with the Giants in 2016 but suffered an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery, then he needed a second Tommy John surgery a year later. He is in major league camp with Tampa Bay, which picked him in the Rule 5 Draft, and has thrown well this spring.

Kenny Long, Dundee-Crown – The left-hander was taken by Houston in the 22nd round out of Illinois State. He pitched in the minor leagues through 2013.


Nick Martini, Prairie Ridge – The left-handed-hitting outfielder had an outstanding three seasons at Kansas State before he was taken in the seventh round by St. Louis. Martini climbed as high as the Cardinals' Triple-A team. He signed with Oakland before the 2018 season and got his first shot at the major leagues in June. He was sent back to Triple-A Nashville briefly, then recalled for the rest of the season and led off for the A's in their AL Wild Card game against the New York Yankees.

Ryan Court, Dundee-Crown – The right-handed-hitting infielder was picked in the 23rd round by Arizona out of Illinois State. Court has also played in the Red Sox's organization and is with the Iowa Cubs this season.

Connor Sadzeck, Crystal Lake Central – Sadzeck originally committed to Oklahoma but went the junior college route to Howard (Texas) College and was taken in the 11th round by Texas. He made it to the majors last summer, throwing 9 1/3 innings in 13 games with an ERA of 0.96. He is trying to make the big-league roster again this spring. Sadzeck was drafted by Pittsburgh in the 45th round in 2010.


Elliot Soto, Dundee-Crown – The slick-fielding shortstop was selected in the 15th round by the Cubs after playing for three years at Creighton. He originally was drafted out of high school in 2007 by Minnesota in the 13th round. Soto was the 2007 Northwest Herald Player of the Year. He played the past three seasons at the Triple-A level with the Cubs and now Miami.

Nate Roberts, Richmond-Burton – Roberts was a terrific left-handed hitter who Minnesota took in the fifth round, the highest selection of any local player at least since 2000. He started at Northwestern, then played at Parkland Community College in Champaign and finished at NCAA Division I High Point (North Carolina). Roberts also was drafted in the 48th round of the 2009 draft by Tampa Bay. Knee injuries eventually took their toll on his career.

Chris Waylock, Cary-Grove – The right-handed-hitting shortstop was drafted in the 43rd round by Cleveland, but chose to attend Iowa Western Community College and played on an NJCAA national champion.

Pat Schatz, McHenry – Schatz was taken in the 49th round of the draft by the White Sox and pitched 40 innings in rookie leagues that season.

Kyle Wilson, Crystal Lake South – The speedy infielder was taken by San Francisco in the 24th round out of North Carolina State. Wilson did not play in the Giants' organization. He also was taken in the 31st round in 2008 by the Cubs.


Brett Nommensen, Cary-Grove – Nommensen was selected by Tampa Bay in the eighth round out of Eastern Illinois. In high school, Nommensen was known for his speed, but his power developed while at EIU. He played through the 2013 season at the minor league levels.

Jake Goebbert, Hampshire – Goebbert was taken by Houston in the 13th round out of Northwestern. The left-handed-hitting outfielder was traded to Oakland in 2013, then to San Diego the next year. He played in 51 major league games with the Padres and got a pinch-hit single in his first plate appearance. He was with the Padres in the minors for one more season, then with Tampa Bay for 2016 and went to training camp with Arizona in 2017.


Rick Zagone, Prairie Ridge – The side-winding lefty was taken in the eighth round by Baltimore out of Missouri. He played in the minor leagues through the 2012 season.


Scott Hode, Crystal Lake South – Hode, a shortstop, was taken in the 24th round by the Cubs, his favorite team while growing up, out of Arkansas. He played some rookie ball that summer, then retired. Hode also kicked in the Arena Football League.

Kevin Tomasiewicz, Dundee-Crown – The lefty was a key member of Wisconsin-Whitewater's rotation on its NCAA Division III national championship team before he was taken in the 26th round by the New York Mets. He pitched in the minors through the 2008 season.


Scott Olsen, Crystal Lake South – The 6-4 lefty was the highest-picked local player out of high school since at least 2000. Florida took Olsen, who threw in the low 90s in high school, in the sixth round out of South. He pitched for six seasons in the major leagues. His best year was in 2006, when he was 12-10 with a 4.04 ERA. His career record over four seasons with Florida and two with Washington was 37-49.


Jason McMillan, Dundee-Crown – McMillan and Tomasiewicz were D-C's dynamic pitching duo on its trip to the Class 2A state tournament in 2001. McMillan, a tough left-hander, was selected in the 20th round by the New York Yankees, but he never pitched for that organization. McMillan pitched two seasons at Elgin Community College and got a tryout with San Diego, but an elbow injury ended his career.