Leading up to the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft, Janesville Craig standout catcher Jacob Campbell worked out for a number of organizations.
The Chicago Cubs were one of them.
On Wednesday, the Cubs selected Campbell in the 36th round.
“It’s all kind of surreal,” Campbell said of the draft process. “My expectations were to go higher, but it’s still a great honor to be chosen by a great organization like the Cubs.
“And even though the Cubs know I’ll be going to Illinois now and won’t be signing with them, it was a nice gesture on their part to draft me.”
Campbell put together back-to-back monster seasons at the plate, and as good as he was with a bat in his hand, he was even better defensively behind the plate. He has allowed only one stolen base all season heading into Tuesday’s WIAA state quarterfinal game against Milwaukee King. He’s currently hitting .425 with three home runs, three triples and 10 doubles on the season.
With an end to his prep career taking place at state and a bright future ahead of him at the University of Illinois, Campbell is already looking forward to the 2021 MLB Draft.
“I can’t thank my family and coaches enough for the support they have given me through all of this,” Campbell said.
“I’m excited about going to Illinois and what’s ahead of me. Hopefully, I can continue to get better, and when I’m eligible for the draft in three years, I’ll get picked even higher.”
Campbell wasn’t the only area player selected Wednesday. Jefferson High graduate and UW-Whitewater senior pitcher Heath Renz was selected by the Tampa Rays in the 27th round. The right-hander was 5-3 this season with a 3.15 ERA. He struck out 70 in 54 innings.