Fayetteville, Ark. – The fingernail biting for the University of Arkansas coaching staff will continue until mid-July when the deadline for Major League Baseball teams to sign their draft picks ends.
Dave Van Horn and his staff saw eight Arkansas players get drafted along with five Razorback signees in the 2012 MLB Draft held June 4-6.
On Wednesday June 27, the Minnesota Twins announced that they had signed D.J. Baxendale.
Baxendale was the third member of the 2012 Arkansas Razorbacks baseball team to sign his professional contract after Matt Reynolds signed with the Mets and Sam Bates inked his deal with the Royals.
Two more former Razorbacks signed at the end of last week when outfielder Derrick Bleeker and senior shortstop Tim Carver signed their deals.
Van Horn and Razorback Nation will eagerly await the decisions of three more players, pitchers Nolan Sanburn and Randall Fant and outfielder Jacob Morris.
Fant is a junior with one year left of eligibility. Sanburn is a sophomore with two years left to play while Morris is a redshirt sophomore.
Sanburn finished the 2012 season 4-1 with a 2.43 ERA in 22 appearances with four starts. Being drafted in the second round with the 74th overall pick by the Oakland A’s, smart money is Sanburn will sign before the July 14 deadline but one never knows.
Fant worked almost exclusively as a starter for the Hogs taking the mound as a starter 14 times during the season with one relief appearance. Fant posted a 2-3 record with a 3.27 ERA.
While talented Fant is still raw as a pitcher commanding the strike zone and his pitches. Another year of seasoning under Van Horn and pitching coach Dave Jorn one could assume would only increase Fant’s draft status in 2013.
Morris hit .236 for Arkansas in 52 games, 49 as a starter, with three triples, nine doubles, and 23 RBI. The departure of Bleeker and Bates should open up more playing time for Morris during the 2013 season.
Bleeker previously posted on Twitter that he was returning next season to play for the Hogs but ultimately decided to forgo his final year of eligibility. Bleeker was drafted as a pitcher by Baltimore not as an outfielder.
Prognosticating on Mahan’s decision would be useless but hopefully for Razorback fans he will return for another year with Arkansas to gain valuable experience playing against top collegiate talent in the SEC.
Where Did They Go?
Baxendale will start his professional career with the Elizabeth Town Twins in Rookie ball.
Bates will begin his career in Idaho Falls rookie league.
Carver made his professional debut Friday night in single-A ball for the New Jersey Lakewood Blueclaws after signing on Thursday June 28.
Carver has played three games and is batting .182 (2-11) with four errors.
Carver will get a chance to play with former MLB All-Star Ryan Howard as Howard works his way back into shape after rehabbing his injury.
Updating the Recruits
Per MLB Draft History online, right-handed pitcher Teddy Stankiewicz, outfielder D’Vone McClure, and left-handed pitcher Colin Poche remain unsigned.
*Note MLB Draft History online has not updated the signings of Bleeker or Bates.
RHP Ty Buttrey signed with the Red Sox on 6-15-12
OF Shilo McCall signed with the Giants on 6-12-12
Arkansas Players Drafted
No. 71 3B Matt Reynolds, New York Mets, 2nd Round
No. 74 RHP Nolan Sanburn, Oakland A’s, 2nd Round
No. 310 RHP D.J. Baxendale, Minnesota Twins, 10th Round
No. 608 SS Tim Carver*, Philadelphia Phillies, 19th Round
No. 853 OF Sam Bates*, Kansas City Royals, 28th Round
No. 893 RHP Randall Fant, Cleveland Indians, 29th Round
No. 1122 OF Derrick Bleeker, Baltimore Orioles, 37th Round
No. 1133 OF Jacob Morris, Cleveland Indians, 37th Round
* Denotes college seniors
Arkansas Razorback Signees Drafted
Pick/Position/Signee/High School/MLB Team/Round
No. 75 RHP Teddy Stankiewicz, Fort Worth Christian (TX), Mets, 2nd Round
No. 143 OF D’Vone McClure, Jacksonville (AR), Indians, 4th Round
No. 151 RHP Ty Buttrey, Providence (NC), Red Sox, 4th Round
No. 162 LHP Colin Poche, Flower Mound Marcus (TX), Orioles, 5th Round
No. 298 OF Shilo McCall, Piedra Vista (NM), Giants, 9th Round