The accolades keep coming for Illinois State junior center fielder John Rave.

Rave, a First Team All-Missouri Valley Conference selection and a First Team All-MVC Defensive Team selection this season, was selected with the second pick (139th overall) in the fifth round of the 2019 Major League Baseball first-year draft by the Kansas City Royals.

Rave has decided to forgo his senior season at ISU, and according to The Athletic has agreed to terms with the Royals on a deal worth $300,000. Following his selection, Rave says he has begun with the Royals in Arizona at their spring training facility.

This is not the first time Rave has been drafted, as the Bloomington, Illinois native was selected in the 35th round of the 2016 MLB draft by the Boston Red Sox following his senior season at Bloomington Central Catholic High School. Rave decided to forgo pro ball at the time and remained committed to Illinois State despite having numerous other collegiate offers.

Rave had a solid junior season leading off the Redbird offense, which ranked in the top-75 nationally in six different offensive categories. He slashed .297/.377/.502 this season while belting 12 home runs and driving in 48. He also finished with 12 stolen bases.

Statistically, Rave's best season came in his sophomore season. He started all 52 games in center field, receiving All-MVC Second Team recognition and was again on the All-Defensive Team. During that season Rave finished with a line of .347/.402/.571 and had eight home runs and 49 RBI's. 

During his freshman campaign, Rave was an All-MVC Honorable Mention selection and was again on the All-Defensive team, the only freshman in the conference on the team. He slashed .258/.352/.362, and was named a Freshman All-American by Baseball America.

The 6-foot Rave hit .429 with three home runs his senior year at BCC, and hit .430 with seven home runs his junior year.

Rave joins fellow Illinois native Michael Massey, who also got drafted by the Royals in the fourth round of the MLB draft. Massey, a second baseman, played collegiately at Illinois. He was an All-Big Ten First Team selection this season.

The Redbirds have had some success in the draft of late, as former ISU shortstop Owen Miller was drafted in the third round by the San Diego Padres last year. Miller has since been promoted to the Padres' AA affiliate, the Amarillo Sod Poodles.

Most Notably, ISU alum Paul Dejong is the starting shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals, and is in consideration for an All-Star Game selection this season.

BLAINE LEWALLEN is the Sports Editor for The Vidette. He can be contacted at bmlewal@ilstu.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @blainelew3 


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