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Two Illini selected in 2021 MLB Draft

A pair of Illinois hurlers were drafted on Day Three.

Andy Wenstrand/Fighting Illini Athletics

The 2021 MLB Draft is complete and two former Illinois Fighting Illini heard their names called Tuesday afternoon.

Right-handed pitcher Andrew Hoffmann (pictured above) was picked by the Atlanta Braves in the 12th round (No. 367 overall).

The 6-foot-5 righty transferred to Illinois last season from John A. Logan Community College, following a stint at Division I Oakland University in 2019.

Hoffmann garnered All-Big Ten Third Team honors, finishing 3-0 with 2.87 ERA, 64 strikeouts, 15 walks in 62.2 innings pitched. His 4.27 strikeout/walk ratio was third in the Big Ten.

Left-handed pitcher Nathan Lavender was selected by the Braves’ NL East rival, the New York Mets, in Round 14 (No. 412 overall).

After missing 2020 due to injury, the Hudson, Ill., native tossed 57 innings in 13 appearances (nine starts) for the Illini this past season. Lavender finished with a 7-2 record, 79 strikeouts & 15 walks. The 6-foot-2 southpaw led the Big Ten in K/BB ratio (5.27), and Lavender’s seven wins tied for the conference lead. He was also named an Academic All-Big Ten selection.

Lavender threw 85.2 innings across his three seasons in Champaign, posting an overall record of 8-4 with a 4.10 ERA in 30 appearances (13 starts).

Best of luck to Andrew & Nathan as they embark on their pro careers.