Court, Maines Selected in 23rd Round of MLB Draft
June 7, 2011
NORMAL, Ill. - A pair of Illinois State seniors, Ryan Court and Corey Maines, were taken in the 23rd round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft Tuesday evening. Court was taken by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the 694th overall pick of the draft, while Maines was taken by the New York Yankees with the 719th overall selection.
Court never missed a start during his final three seasons at Illinois State, starting 159-consecutive games. During his senior season, the Redbird third baseman hit .323 with a team-best 15 doubles and four triples, to go along with six home runs. He was also 7-for-7 in stolen bases. For his efforts, Court was named to the 2011 All-MVC First Team. Court is also a three-time MVC Scholar-Athlete and a two-time member of the Capital One Academic All-District V First Team presented by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
"It is a dream come true to have earned the opportunity to play baseball professionally," Court said. "I feel so blessed that the Arizona Diamondbacks believe I have what it takes to help their organization in the future. I cannot put into words how grateful I am to the Illinois State coaching staff for making this opportunity possible."
As a sophomore, Court emerged as one of the Redbirds' top offensive contributors and was named All-Missouri Valley Conference Honorable Mention, after batting .323 with a team-best 41 RBI. Last season, the Sleepy Hollow, Ill., native finished with a .295 batting average and a team-best 10 home runs, plus he ranked second on the team with 49 RBI and 67 hits. Court was named to the 2010 State Farm MVC All-Tournament team, and he earned MVC Second Team recognition.
"Ryan has become a pro draft pick as the result of a tireless work ethic," Illinois State head coach Mark Kingston said. "He has been instrumental in our program's growth recently, and an example of achieving on and off the field. This selection is much deserved, and I think Ryan is prepared to do very well. He will be tough to replace, but we wish him great success in his career with the Diamondbacks."
Maines, who was a four-year starter and is the winningest pitcher in the history of ISU baseball, finished his Redbird career with a 24-17 record. The right-hander from Houston, Texas notched a career-high nine wins during his senior season, which tied for second on the ISU single-season wins list. Maines finished 2011 with a 9-4 record and a 2.87 ERA. He also ranked fourth in single-season games started with 15 and earned All-MVC Honorable Mention honors.
"Getting drafted was one of my goals when coming to college at Illinois State," Maines said. "Now I get a chance to pursue my dreams of playing Major League Baseball."
On Saturday, April 16, at Bradley, Maines earned his 22nd career-victory to take sole possession of first place on the ISU career-wins list, ahead of former leader Doug Boehm, who had 21 wins between 1982-85. He also set a new record with 53 career-starts. Maines finished fourth in career-strikeouts at ISU with 272.
"Corey has been our workhorse," Kingston said. "He matured greatly over the course of his career, and will be very hard to replace. This selection is very much deserved and I expect him to do very well at the pro level."
Former ISU pitcher Ryan Copeland was the lone Redbird picked in last year's MLB First-Year Player Draft. Selected in the 32nd round by the St. Louis Cardinals, Copeland played in the Rookie Appalachian League for the Cardinals of Johnson City, Tenn. The Des Plaines, Ill., native went on to earn the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year award and led the Cardinals to the league title. This season, he is playing for the Class A Quad Cities River Bandits in Davenport, Iowa.
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