FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Junior right-handed pitcher Zach Jackson became Arkansas’ newest draft pick Friday afternoon when he was selected in the third round, No. 102 overall, by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2016 MLB First Year Player Draft.
Jackson is the sixth Razorback player to be taken in the draft’s first three rounds since 2013. Andrew Benintendi was picked in the first round of last year’s draft as the seventh overall pick, preceded by Brian Anderson in the third round in 2014. Ryne Stanek was the Hogs’ top pick in 2013 as the 29th overall pick, followed by Colby Suggs in the second round, 73rd overall and Barrett Astin in the third round, 90th overall, in the same draft.
With the selection, Arkansas has had at least one player picked in each of the past 42 MLB Drafts, dating back to 1975.
Coming into the 2016 season, Jackson was one of the most highly anticipated pitchers on the college scene as he was placed on numerous preseason All-American lists as well as the Golden Spikes Watch List. Jackson was named an All-SEC First Teamer after his sophomore season and he played on the USA Collegiate National Team during the summer of 2015.
He made 18 appearances this past season, both as a starter and a reliever, garnering 3 wins, 4 saves and totaling 66 strikeouts. During his three-year Razorback career, Jackson has notched 15 saves, which ties him for second all-time.
The Berryhill, Oklahoma, native had his best season in 2015 en route to helping Arkansas to its eighth College World Series appearance. Jackson went 5-1 with a 2.10 ERA after pitching 60 innings and striking out 89 batters, good for the best mark on the team.
Jackson’s most memorable moment came in last year’s NCAA Super Regionals where he sent Arkansas to the College World Series after throwing 3 2/3 innings of one-hit ball in the decisive game against Missouri State. He retired 11-straight batters and got the strikeout to end the game, sending the Hogs to Omaha.
Rounds 3-10 continue for the MLB Draft Friday afternoon on MLB.com. Saturday marks the final day of the draft, and it will begin at noon and will include rounds 11-40. All the selections can be followed on MLB.com.
The signing deadline for underclassmen and high school seniors selected in the 2016 First-Year Player draft is July 15.