Baseball America ranks Maldonado as top 100 draft prospect

Junior+Aidan+Maldonado++throws+a+pitch+during+competition.

Photo Courtesy of Fighting Illini Athletics

Junior Aidan Maldonado throws a pitch during competition.

By Rich Eberwein, Staff Writer

Illinois junior Aidan Maldonado ranked No. 77 on Baseball America’s top 100 2021 draft prospects list this week.

Maldonado was drafted out of high school by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2018. The 5-11 righty was a four-year letter winner at Rosemount high school in Minnesota and was named the No. 2 recruit in the state by Prep Baseball Report at that time. Hartleb was able to get Maldonado to commit to the program before Maldonado began his junior season.

Although he has yet to breakout for the Illini, walking 30 batters in 26 innings as a freshman, Maldonado continues to have a high ceiling. Last summer, Maldonado did show signs of his potential in the Cape League for the Falmouth Commodores where he threw 19 2/3 innings with a 3.20 ERA. During the shortened 2020 campaign, Maldonado started three games for Illinois but sported a less than desirable 5.82 ERA.

Maldonado hopes to put the pieces together as he, along with sophomore southpaw Cole Kirschsieper and junior Ty Rybarczyk, will likely make up the first three spots in the starting rotation in 2021. Recent commit Gavin Schmitt will potentially compete for the fourth spot.

@ebs_rich

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