Davis selected in third-round of MLB Draft



By Jason Grodsky

Lars Davis took his first step toward the next level on Thursday night.

The Illinois catcher was selected with the 102nd pick in the third round of the 2007 Major League Baseball first-year player draft by the Colorado Rockies.

Davis, the 2007 Big Ten Player of the Year, was the first Illini to be drafted this year and the first since former Illini second baseman Toby Gardenhire was picked in the 41st round of the 2005 MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins.

The Illini backstop led the Illini in almost every hitting category this season, leading the Orange and Blue in hits (90), RBIs (56), runs (53), home runs (13), slugging percentage (.673) and on-base percentage (.473) this season. His 13 home runs led the Big Ten and he also led the Big Ten behind the plate, throwing out 24 would-be base stealers.

Assuming Davis signs with the Rockies and forgoes his senior season at Illinois, he will continue the Illini’s tradition of producing quality catchers.

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Davis is the second Canadian-born catcher Illinois has had drafted in the last three years. Former Illini catcher Chris Robinson was selected in the third-round of the MLB Draft back in 2005.

Fellow Illini Shawn Roof and Jake Toohey are also hoping to be selected in this year’s draft. The two seniors are expected to punch their tickets to the next level sometime during day two of the 2007 MLB Draft on Friday.