FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Junior outfielder Eric Cole was the second Razorback taken in the 2018 Major League Baseball (MLB) First-Year Player Draft Tuesday afternoon when he was selected in the fourth round, No. 122 overall, by the Kansas City Royals.
Cole is the first Razorback outfielder selected in the draft since Clark Eagan was taken by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2016 and first in the fourth round or higher since Andrew Benintendi went to Boston in the first round in 2015.
The Southlake, Texas native has had a career year for the Razorbacks, hitting .328 in 60 games, good for fourth on the team. Of his 81 hits, 26 are for extra bases, including 12 doubles and 13 home runs. The home runs are a career-high and tie for the most among all Razorback hitters.
Cole earned his first All-SEC selection last month, making the second team after hitting .346 over 30 conference games, good for second on the team and sixth in the league. He drove in a team-leading 28 runs against league opponents with 17 coming in the final month of the regular season.
Over his three-year career, Cole has a combined .299 batting average with 166 hits, 26 doubles, 18 home runs, and 79 RBIs. Of those totals, 13 of those home runs came this season as well as 47 of his career RBIs. He's also started in 136 of 147 games in the outfield, including all 60 games this year.