Six Arkansas Baseball Players have Signed Pro Contracts since the MLB Draft


Yesterday, Tucker Pennell became the 6th Arkansas baseball player to sign a professional contract this year. Despite the not-so-great finish to the season for the Diamond Hogs, the talent on the team was certainly there, and the MLB took notice.

Tucker Pennell is now part of the San Diego Padres family. Despite going undrafted in the 2016 Major League Baseball draft, Pennell got attention from several organizations, and has decided to end his collegiate career early to become a professional baseball player.

He joins Zach Jackson (Toronto), Clark Eagan (Pittsburgh), Michael Bernal (San Francisco), Doug Willey (LA Angels), and James Teague (Baltimore) as one of the 2016 Pro Hogs. Pennell, who is the first Diamond Hog this year to go undrafted and to sign a contract, finishes his 2 year career at Arkansas with a .238 batting average, 55 hits in 90 at bats, and a reputation for having one of the strongest arms in the conference.

This most recent season was, to put it bluntly, a major disappointment for the Diamond Hogs. There was just a lack of consistency in all aspects of the game, which you would think would imply that not many players were of professional caliber.

More from Razorbackers

Clearly, that was not the case. Sometimes, and this is hard for some fans to comprehend, things just don’t click. Things weren’t clicking 2 years ago, either…until they all of a sudden did. And Arkansas went from a middling SEC team to the College World Series.

With the return of some key players, including Dominic Taccolini (who was drafted in the 16th round by Toronto, by the way) and a new pitching coach on the staff, fans are already getting excited for 2017.

As well they should! It’s a rare thing for Arkansas to miss out on the postseason in baseball, and it’s even rarer for the Diamond Hogs to miss it 2 years in a row. 2017 could be a big turnaround for Dave van Horn and Arkansas Baseball. But they’re going to have to do it without several players who made the decision to turn pro.