FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) — Junior right-handed pitcher Trevor Stephan was the first Razorback taken in the 2017 Major League Baseball (MLB) First-Year Player Draft Tuesday afternoon when he was selected in the third round, No. 92 overall, by the New York Yankees.
Stephan is the 13th Razorback to be taken in the draft’s first three rounds since 2010 and the fourth pitcher since 2013. Pitcher Zach Jackson went in the third round to the Toronto Blue Jays last year as the 102nd overall pick. Stephan is also the first Arkansas player to be picked by the Yankees since 2008 when catcher Jeff Nutt went in the 25th round.
With Stephan’s selection, Arkansas has had at least one player picked in each of the past 43 MLB Drafts dating back to 1975.
This is not the first time Stephan has been picked in the draft in his career. Last year, the Texas native was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 18th round, No. 538 overall, before deciding to come to Arkansas.
The 2017 season was Stephan’s first with the Razorbacks after transferring in from Hill College in Cleburne, Texas. With the help of new pitching coach Wes Johnson, Stephan was able to step right in and became one of the primary arms in the Hog rotation, making 16 starts and leading the team with a 2.87 ERA, good for 10th in the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
Stephan finished second on the team in wins with a 6-3 record and was one of two Hog pitchers to throw a complete game shutout last season. He threw a team-high 91 innings with 29 earned runs allowed, 20 walks, and 120 strikeouts. The strikeout total was the fifth highest by a Razorback in a single-season in program history and most since 2010 when Drew Smyly had 114. It was also good for third best in the SEC.
In six of his outings last year, Stephan notched 10 or more strikeouts, including in his complete game shutout at Tennessee (May 6). Against the Volunteers, the junior allowed just one hit and two walks to go along with 11 strikeouts to not only earn the 2-0 victory, but also SEC and NCBWA Pitcher of the Week Honors.
Stephan’s best outing came against Rhode Island (March 10), where he pitched a perfect game into the seventh inning and totaled a career-high 13 strikeouts, tying for the most in a game by an SEC pitcher last year. It was also the most by a Razorback pitcher since Jess Todd struck out 17 against South Carolina in the 2007 SEC Tournament.
Day two of the draft continues today on MLB.com. Rounds 3-10 will be conducted today. Wednesday will be the final day of the draft and will include rounds 11-40 starting at 11 a.m. All selections can be followed on MLB.com.
The signing deadline for underclassmen and high school seniors selected in the 2017 First-Year Player Draft is July 7.
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Univ. of Ark.