New Trier's Charlie Tilson Drafted By St. Louis Cardinals
Cardinals select the senior centerfielder with the 79th pick in the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
New Trier’s Charlie Tilson was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals with the 79th pick in the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft on Tuesday morning.
The senior centerfielder had a .406 average, scored 41 runs and stole 28 bases during the 2011 season for the Trevians and became the first New Trier player to win the Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year award.
Not the most highly touted prospect following his junior season, Tilson shot up the draft boards of pro teams after being the only player to hit a home run at last summer’s Area Code Games in California. As a result, numerous scouts attended New Trier’s baseball games to see Tilson play throughout the season.
Tilson is seen as a five-tool player. ESPN’s scouts say Tilson is ”a plus-runner who can play centerfield and has surprising power for his size. He has the speed and instincts to play center with a plus arm.” According to the MLB.com’s take on how Tilson projects at the major league level, Tilson is comparable to the Boston Red Sox’s Jacoby Ellsbury and the New York Yankee’s Brett Gardner.
Meanwhile the ability for the Cardinals to officially sign Tilson is the biggest question mark regarding the speedy centerfielder and leadoff hitter. ESPN Chicago reported that it will take a signing bonus offer of around $1,000,000 to lure Tilson to the professional leagues and skip college. Tilson has held firm in his commitment to the University of Illinois after verbally committing to the Illini early in the recruiting process.
New Trier finished with a 25-10 record this season and advanced to the IHSA Class 4A Sectional semifinals before losing to Leyden, 9-8.
Tilson, who bats and throws left-handed, was the first player from the Chicagoland area to be selected in this year’s draft. Glenbrook North pitcher Alex Hermeling is also expected to be drafted in the later rounds.
To read more about Charlie Tilson, click here. Check Wilmette-Kenilworth Patch later this week for a video interview with Charlie.