MLB draft

Arkansas sophomore third baseman Cayden Wallace (middle) stands ready during a College World Series game against Mississippi. Wallace, Jalen Battles (left) and Robert Moore (right) were among nine Razorbacks selected in the 2022 MLB draft.

The Razorback baseball team had three players taken on day one of the 2022 MLB Draft. Sophomore third baseman Cayden Wallace, junior right-handed pitcher Peyton Pallette and junior second baseman Robert Moore each heard their names called during the second round.

In total, nine Hogs were selected in this year’s draft.

Arkansas was one of just five programs in the country — joining Florida, Oklahoma, Oregon State and Tennessee — with three players taken during the first two rounds of the draft. Only the Sooners and the Volunteers had more than nine total selections.

Wallace was the first Razorback off the board when the Kansas City Royals selected him 49th overall. Wallace, who slashed .298/.387/.553 with 16 home runs and 60 runs batted in during the 2022 season, is Arkansas’ highest sophomore draft pick since Andrew Benintendi was taken seventh overall in the 2015 MLB Draft.

Pallette was next to hear his name called when the Chicago White Sox selected him 62nd overall. Before undergoing Tommy John surgery and missing all of 2022, Pallette impressed on the mound for the Hogs in 2021, earning a spot on the Southeastern Conference’s All-Newcomer team. MLB.com reporter Jim Callis called Pallette’s curveball “the best in the draft.”

Moore became the final Razorback drafted on the first day when the Milwaukee Brewers selected him 72nd overall. Moore, who is known for his defense, committed just two errors during the 2022 season and was named as Arkansas’ first Gold Glove winner in program history.

The three Arkansas selections on day one of the MLB draft are the most since 2010 when Brett Eibner, Drew Smyly and Zack Cox were each selected.

Day two of the MLB draft saw five Razorbacks selected.

Senior shortstop Jalen Battles was taken by the Tampa Bay Rays in the fifth round with the 162nd overall pick. Battles slashed .289/.364/.480 with 10 home runs and 45 RBIs during the 2022 season all while playing stellar defense up the middle.

Senior pitcher Evan Taylor was selected by the Miami Marlins in the ninth round with the 262nd overall pick. As a senior, Taylor emerged as a go-to arm out of the bullpen compiling a 5-0 record in 2022 with a 3.65 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 44 ⅓ innings.

With the very next pick, the Chicago Cubs selected senior pitcher Connor Noland. Noland, the ace of the pitching staff in 2022, compiled an 8-6 record with a 3.65 ERA and a 113/34 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 116 innings pitched.

Senior catcher Michael Turner was next to have his name read, as the White Sox selected him in the ninth round with the 281st overall pick. Turner was solid both behind the plate and in the batter’s box in 2022, slashing .323/.388/.502 with nine home runs and 53 RBIs. He compiled a .995 fielding percentage, committing just three errors on the year.

Senior pitcher Zebulon Vermillion was the last Razorback drafted on day two when he was selected by the New York Mets in the 10th round with the 299th overall pick. Vermillion was a solid contributor to the Hogs in 2022, and he posted a 2.39 ERA with 26 strikeouts in 26 ⅓ innings.

Junior pitcher Mark Adamiak — who made the decision to transfer to the University of Missouri following the 2022 season — was selected 454th overall in the 15th round by the Oakland Athletics. Adamiak made nine appearances for the Razorbacks in 2022, compiling a 3.95 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 13 ⅔ innings.

A pair of Razorback commits heard their names called during the draft, with Boerne, Texas, High School pitcher Cole Phillips going 57th overall to the Atlanta Braves, and Mason Neville, an outfielder out of Basic High School in Las Vegas going 543rd overall to the Cincinnati Reds. Phillips is expected to sign with the Braves, while Neville  announced he intends to take his talents to The Hill.

Transfer players Jordan Sprinkle out of UC Santa Barbara and Julian Bosnic out of South Carolina were taken in the fourth and 14th rounds respectively. Sprinkle will likely sign and skip his year of eligibility, while Bosnic could choose to come to Arkansas to bolster his draft position going into 2023. 

Former Razorbacks Blake Adams, Caleb Bolden and Curtis Washington Jr. were each selected during the final two days of the draft.

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