Back in 2009, Matt Milroy was named The Beacon-News Baseball Player of the Year for the second straight season as a senior at Marmion Academy. He was drafted out of high school in the 35th round by the Boston Red Sox.
Milroy decided not to sign and has attended the University of Illinois for the past three years. On Tuesday, Milroy was drafted again -- this time in the 11th round by the Miami Marlins.
"It feels great," Milroy said on fightingillini.com. "It's something that I've been working toward for three years at Illinois. I want to thank all my coaches; everybody who helped me along the way. I needed to grow up mentally and harness the talent that I knew I had, but the (Illinois) coaches always stuck with me and helped me get where I am. I think I matured more into a leader and my mental game really got a lot better this year. That helped my physical side get even better."
Milroy appeared in 20 games this season for the Illini -- 18 out of the bullpen. He went 2-6 with a 3.88 ERA, which was second-best on the team. No doubt, the right-hander was drafted because of his ability to miss bats. He struck out a team-best 65 hitters in only 53 1/3 innings. He led the Big Ten by holding opposing batters to a .207 average. Right-handed hitters batted just .191 off Milroy.
Moving forward, Milroy will have to improve his control. Walks have been his biggest problem -- 44 of them in those 53 1/3 innings. Milroy also hit 10 batters and uncorked 10 wild pitches this season. As he joins the professional ranks, we'll see whether Milroy can take that next step from "effectively wild" to just plain old "effective."
UPDATE: The Beacon-News was able to reach Milroy Wednesday for his reaction. Here is the story.