FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Eight players off Arkansas’ 2007 baseball team have inked professional contracts following the conclusion of the season.
Nick Schmidt, a first-round selection in the Major League Baseball Draft, recently signed a contract with the San Diego Padres with a $1.29 million signing bonus.
Jess Todd and Duke Welker, both second-round selections, have agreed to terms with their respective teams, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Todd is playing in the New York-Penn League (short-season Class A) for the Batavia Muckdogs and has a 1-0 record with a 3.94 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 16 innings of work. Welker is rehabbing a foot injury and will report to the State College Spikes (short-season Class A) soon.
Danny Hamblin, a 10th-round choice of the Oakland Athletics, began his professional career with the Vancouver Canadians (short-season Class A). He is hitting .255 with five doubles, a home run and 11 RBI.
RHP Chris Rhoads is off to a good start in the Philadelphia Phillies organization. He started with the Phillies rookie-league team in the Gulf Coast League, but has already been promoted to the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters. He is 0-1 early in his minor-league career with a 2.29 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 9.2 innings.
Brian Walker, a 29th-round selection of the Anaheim Angels, has moved up the quickest with a promotion to the Class A Cedar Rapids Kernals after beginning his pro career with the Orem Owlz. He is hitting .429 through with Cedar Rapids, including two RBI and three runs scored.
Jacob Julius is playing for the Baltimore Orioles rookie-league affiliate the Bluefield Orioles. He is hitting .241 with three doubles, a triple, two home runs and eight RBI. Jake Dugger is playing for the Vermont Lake Monsters in the New York-Penn League, but is currently on the seven-day disabled list.
The lone Razorback drafted that has yet to sign is junior-to-be middle infielder Matt Willard. He was selected in the 49th round by the Cleveland Indians.
Player Round Pick Parent Club Current Team/Class
Nick Schmidt, LHP 1st 23rd San Diego Padres TBD
Duke Welker, RHP 2nd 68th Pittsburgh Pirates State College Spikes / Short-Season A
Jess Todd, RHP 2nd 82nd St. Louis Cardinals Batavia Muckdogs / Short-Season A
Danny Hamblin, INF 10th 330 Oakland Athletics Vancouver Canadians / Short-Season A
Chris Rhoads, RHP 28th 852 Philadelphia Phillies Williamsport Crossuctters / Short-Season A
Brian Walker, C 29th 898 Anaheim Angels Cedar Rapids Kernals / Class A
Jacob Julius, OF 33rd 997 Baltimore Orioles Bluefield Orioles / Rookie
Jake Dugger, OF 49th 1417 Washington Nationals Vermont Lake Monsters / Short-Season A
Matt Willard, INF 49th 1423 Cleveland Indians Unsigned